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Australian and Chinese maritime authorities to take part in joint exercise

Monday 24 June 2013
Fostering international cooperation and information exchange will be the aims of a search and rescue exercise undertaken by Australian and Chinese maritime authorities at Garden Island on Wednesday, 26 June.
Media Release

As part of this week’s visit of China’s largest and most advanced patrol vessel, Haixun 01, personnel from the China Maritime Safety Administration and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will take part in a desktop search and rescue exercise on board the ship.

The exercise will also involve personnel from AMSA’s Canberra based Rescue Coordination Centre and will be an opportunity to share information and strengthen ties between the maritime agencies.

AMSA Chief Executive Officer Graham Peachey said the exercise scenario would revolve around a cargo ship suffering engine failure following an explosion on board and a person falling overboard and needing to be rescued.

“The Rescue Coordination Centre will simulate contacting the Haixun 01 to join the rescue operation. The Haixun 01 will run through with exercise participants about what would be involved in joining the search and dispatching the ship’s helicopter to conduct an aerial search for the missing person,” Mr Peachey said.

“The aim of the exercise is to learn about each other’s processes and capabilities and strengthen mutual communication and cooperation between Australia and China.

“The visit of the Haixun 01 further builds on a 2008 agreement formalising a closer relationship between AMSA and the China Maritime Safety Administration, which agreed to information sharing in areas of common interest including training, port state control, international issues and search and rescue between the two agencies,” Mr Peachey said.

The Haixun 01 arrived in Australia on Saturday and is docked in Sydney until Friday. The ship will then head to Cairns for the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) Forum, which is being hosted by AMSA from 1-4 July.

The Haixun 01 is in Australia as part of a 62 day voyage which will also take in Indonesia, Malaysia and Burma. The ship left Shanghai on June 10 and Australia is its first stop.

The ship was officially put into service in April this year and is the first Chinese patrol vessel to simultaneously incorporate marine inspection and rescue functions.

It is equipped with a helicopter and search and rescue centre and is able to put out fires on ships.

Media Note: The desktop exercise will run from 9am to 1pm aboard the Haixun 01 and media are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to AMSA Media to arrange access to the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East at Garden Island on 1300 624 633 or 0429 504 267.