Choules training takes to new heights

Published on LEUT Sarah Mills (author and photographer)

Topic(s): Training, HMAS Choules (L100)

Petty Officer Marine Technician Brett Duncan starts the descent from HMAS Choules superstructure for a working at heights training course. (photo: LEUT Sarah Mills)
Petty Officer Marine Technician Brett Duncan starts the descent from HMAS Choules superstructure for a working at heights training course.

Sailors and Soldiers of HMAS Choules recently had the chance to undertake Height Safety training while deployed in support of Operation LANDSCAPE.

Mr David Thomas from Fire & Safety Australia joined the ship in location to instruct members of ship’s company over a four-day period, in two Working at Heights Courses as well as a two-day Tower Rescue training.

The courses provided Choules personnel with the knowledge and skills to not only work safely at heights but the rescue component further allowed those attendees to be able to rescue a fallen worker using one-on-one rescue techniques.

Not letting the height deter them, Choules’ personnel bravely took the leap from the aft end of Choules’ Superstructure to practice their rescues.

Petty Officer Marine Technical Sailor Brett Duncan said the initial apprehension it quickly disappeared.

“It was great to get out of the office and break up the day - even better to be able to get out of the office and be able to rappel from the back of the ship,” he said.

Sgt Geoff Coady of the Ship’s Army Department (SAD) who has working at heights experience also benefited from the training.

“The training was great, it was a really enjoyable course and I loved the practical side of it.”

He additionally said that he is now confident he could rescue fellow shipmates and would trust the others on the course to rescue him if the situation arose.

Choules has spent the last few months situated off Manus Island, Papua New Guinea and is due to return home to Sydney soon.