Albatross MRH-90 helicopters lead emergency evacuation in Solomon Islands

TWO MRH-90 helicopters from 808 Squadron at HMAS Albatross have played a pivotal role in an emergency evacuation in the Solomon Islands.

Two helos onboard HMAS Adelaide were part of the Australian Defence Force’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour Task Group (IPE18) and were requested to assist the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in rescuing four seriously injured people after a violent incident occurred in an outlying part of the country.

The incident occurred on Bellona Island, about 200 kilometres south of the Solomon Island’s capital Honiara.

It is understood a seven-year-old girl died as a result of the attack on Friday night.

Commander of IPE18, Captain Jim Hutton, said the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force requested assistance from the Joint Task Group through the Australian High Commission.

“We were asked to help retrieve the injured and bring them to hospital in Honiara for further treatment,” Captain Hutton said.

“I’m pleased that we had the capability to be able to assist in such a critical situation.”

At 6.15am local time, the two MRH-90 helicopters, Poseidon 29 and Poseidon 45, left HMAS Adelaide with two accident and emergency teams on board and five Royal Solomon Islands policemen.

They returned to the ship about three hours later with four patients: three males aged 16, 59 and 68 and a 34-year-old female.

All had deep laceration wounds and were transferred to the Honiara Referral Hospital in stable conditions.

“The operation highlights the value of what we are doing in the region, the capability that we have and our commitment to do all we can to help our friends in times of need,” Captain Hutton said.

Royal Solomon Islands Police are investigating the matter.

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