HMAS Glenelg added one last rescue to the ship’s log during their final port visit to Cairns before decommissioning.
On the evening of September 24, Petty Officer Boatswain Daniel Leschke was on the bridge wing and noticed a vessel in the harbor had lost propulsion and a strange smell.
“I grabbed the binoculars for a closer look and when I saw lifejackets coming out on deck, I knew something was wrong,” Leschke said.
“Immediately, the team swung into action and launched the rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) with Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Bailey Griffin and myself embarked. We were on scene less than 10 minutes after first noticing the vessel.”
Alongside the distressed vessel, they were advised there was smoke on board and went back to Glenelg to collect first-aid equipment and fire extinguishers.
Returning, they transferred three passengers to the RHIB while the master remained on board.
“They were happy to see us, especially when we had the extinguishers,” Able Seaman Griffin said.
“It was one of those situations where all the training we do pays off. You kick into gear and do what’s required to keep people safe.”
They towed the vessel to the Trinity Inlet boat ramp, where Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were waiting to provide further assistance.
Commanding Officer Glenelg Lieutenant Commander Alexander Finnis said he was proud of the quick actions of his crew.
“We regularly train for exactly this type of scenario, so to see our people respond as they did is incredibly pleasing,” Lieutenant Commander Finnis said.
“Providing assistance to our fellow mariners is core business for us, whether we’re underway at sea or alongside.
“I’m extremely proud of their efforts and, most importantly, everyone involved in the incident made it home safe and unharmed.”