May 21, 2011 by staff
Christmas Island, A Navy lieutenant described how to cut a line to save a child connected to a woman drowned when a boat of asylum seekers crashed against the rocks of Christmas Island. Second Lieutenant Jeremy Evain told the inquest in Perth today was one of the two ships sent from the patrol vessel HMAS Pirie to rescue people after their craft crashed into the rocks on Christmas Island the Rocky Point December 15 last years. The sailors faced huge waves, strong winds and rainsqualls dangerous cliff to reach the place where he crashed the craft of asylum seekers’ away.
Western Australia Coroner Alastair Hope is conducting research on the tragedy that killed 30 people in Iraq and Iran, and the probable death of 20 people. Sub-Lieutenant Evain said as his boat rounded the point he saw the ship that crashed against the rocks as people clung to him and others floating in the water, many screaming for help.
“I saw the sea was throwing debris and people on the cliff,”the official 22-year-old said.
He said the risk of debris blocking the shots of the ship’s engines meant it had to be out with life jackets and throw lines attached to people in the water, then pull them to the boat.
Saw the bodies in the water, including a middle-aged woman, just below the surface that was connected by a line to a child in a lifejacket floating on the surface.
To rescue the child, had to cut the line, he said.
Sub-Lieutenant Evain said he had to ignore cries for help of some people to concentrate on saving those who could.
At one point, the ship lost power as the engine intake is blocked, put the ship in danger of being swept up into the cliffs, but switching off the engine running and cleared the blockade, he said.
The rescue boat helmsman second, the sailor Jonathan West, said the survey had a strong smell of diesel in place of the accident and fuel-soaked survivors proved difficult to hold on board.
The experienced boatman said he got so close to the cliffs of the safest possible way and saw the man with lifejackets celebration of women and children afloat and pushing children into rescue boats.
West said the sailor had to make calls that sentence to collect, maintain your computer’s security in mind, and on several occasions that people lost to the waves that it was removed after throwing ropes and life jackets for them.
He said that the return to Pirie with 10 survivors on board noticed two men were hostile to a middle-aged Indonesian man thinks he is the captain of the ship.
He said that places man in the back of the boat to calm the situation.
West said the sailor on a trip back rescue, counted 16 dead in the water, including three children and an infant. None of them wore life jackets.
On that trip, the consumption of the vessel was blocked within 10 meters from the cliff face, but the Western sailor managed to power out of danger, before returning to Pirie have a life jacket removed from the intake.
The coroner said Pirie commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Livingstone Mitchell had recommended in a report that a better system to prevent clogging of engine intakes on boats from the sea ‘is situated.
Lieutenant Commander Livingstone also recommends a course of recovery used by kayakers will be issued for the use of the sea by boat, after the lifeboat crews are tied to the lines could be blown by the wind again when it is released to people in the water.
Hope Mr Livingstone praised the lieutenant commander, Evain Seaman SLT and Western leader, saying he had had the courage of his leadership and actions that saved lives during the tragedy.
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