December 27, 2008

Australia struggling with deep-sea rescues

Submariners in Australia face a slim possibility of deep-sea rescue because the government has been unable to create an adequate system, experts say.

Global safety assessor Det Norske Veritas has not offered a safety certificate to the Australian submarine rescue system, Remora, because the naval deep-sea plan doesn't meet its requirements, The Australian reported in its Saturday edition.

A defense representative said while the government attempts to find a long-term solution to its deep-sea rescue shortcomings, a British rescue system will serve as a stopgap solution.

The commonwealth will use the UK-based LR5 submarine rescue system as a contingency whilst addressing cost effective and robust systems as future options, the unidentified official said. The commonwealth is committed to an indigenous submarine rescue capability and is considering all future options.

But there has been skepticism regarding the efficacy of using the British system in relation to how long it would take to deploy the overseas vehicle in an emergency rescue situation, The Australian said.