Statement from Chief of Navy - Submarine safety
11 November 2020
I reject the premise in the ABC article ‘Veteran warns Australia's Collins Class submarine fleet has limited ability to save trapped submariners’ (11 November 2020) that our submarines are not safe, or that Defence is not providing a safe work environment for our submariners. Their safety is our number one priority.
Royal Australian Navy submariners are a professional force, trained and equipped to manage all possible eventualities related to submarine operations.
Defence has an existing contracted submarine escape and rescue service provider that is certified to provide services for all likely scenarios and operational areas under which submarine rescue would be performed.
Australia is also a member of an international coalition established by NATO to provide submarine escape and rescue services globally. This coalition was established to provide global support to submarine rescue operations.
Navy’s rescue systems are annually tested and certified through Exercise Black Carillon, currently being conducted off Western Australia.