THE build up of naval hardware off Jervis Bay ahead of the International Fleet Review in Sydney certainly proved lucky for two French sailors who were rescued after their yacht sank on Sunday.
A Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron at HMAS Albatross rescued the French yachtsmen whose yacht sank 667 kilometres east of Jervis Bay.
The Seahawk helicopter winched the men from a small boat after they abandoned their sinking yacht in rough conditions.
The sailors were returned to the Navy frigate HMAS Perth where they were expected to remain before landing in Jervis Bay on Monday.
They were in a satisfactory condition after suffering mild hyperthermia, the Navy said.
HMAS Perth Commanding Officer, Captain Lee Goddard, said the rescue went very smoothly.
“The final piece of the rescue saw the Seahawk helicopter use its night vision capability to ensure a successful outcome,” Cpt Goddard said.
“The Rescue Coordination Centre did a great job managing a number of assets including ourselves, fixed wing aircraft and the merchant vessel Williams Strait.”
The Nowra-based helicopter and the Western Australian-based HMAS Perth are participating in maritime exercises in and around Jervis Bay and the East Australian Exercise Area prior to their involvement in the International Fleet Review in Sydney from October 4-10.
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