Sailors to the rescue in roadside vehicle fire

Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Kylie Jagiello (photographer)

Location(s): Busselton, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Navy Values & Signature Behaviours

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Timothy Boyd and Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Henry Burns at HMAS Stirling, Western Australia. (photo: LSIS Kylie Jagiello)
Able Seaman Maritime Logistics - Support Operations Timothy Boyd and Seaman Maritime Logistics - Supply Chain Henry Burns at HMAS Stirling, Western Australia.

Two sailors from HMAS Stirling found themselves in the proverbial right place at the right time recently as they were driving back to Rockingham from a task that took them to the southwest WA town of Busselton.

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Steward Timothy Boyd and Seaman Maritime Logistics – Supply Chain Henry Burns were just north of Busselton when they noticed a heavy crane vehicle pulled over on the side of the road.

“As we got closer to the crane we noticed that the back tyre was glowing and on fire so we immediately pulled over to render assistance,” ABML-S Boyd said.

“While Henry contacted emergency services and the Stirling OOD, I approached the driver who was sitting in the cab in a state of shock.

“That’s when a burst of flame erupted from the side of the crane – so I grabbed the driver’s fire extinguisher and attacked the fire.”

Once the driver was evacuated from the vehicle, SMNML-SC Burns directed oncoming traffic while ABML-S Boyd took a second extinguisher and clambered underneath the vehicle to continue fighting the fire.

“The fire was so intense that the rear disc brake was glowing red and melting everything around it,” he said.

“But with the second extinguisher I was finally able to put it out.”

The two sailors then waited for the arrival of the local authorities who took over the welfare of the driver, and helped in getting the disabled vehicle back to its base.

HMAS Stirling Commanding Officer Captain Brian Delamont said both sailors should be proud of their efforts as the situation had the potential to get out of hand.

“This was an excellent effort on behalf of Tim and Henry,” he said.

“The professionalism they displayed in taking charge of this dangerous situation showed the importance of the training our people go through, and was a fine display of the values we live by as Navy members.”