Yarra dives into Dili

This article has photo gallery Published on SBLT Zachary Segger (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Dilli, Timor Leste

Topic(s): HMAS Yarra (M87), Exercise BERSAMA LIMA

HMAS Yarra plays host to a curious crew of Timor Leste sailors and officers en-route to Exercise BERSAMA LIMA (photo: Unknown)
HMAS Yarra plays host to a curious crew of Timor Leste sailors and officers en-route to Exercise BERSAMA LIMA

Minehunter, HMAS Yarra has visited the world’s youngest nation, Timor-Leste, as part of her south-east Asian deployment on route to Exercise BERSAMA LIMA 16. The visit provided opportunity for not only respite and friendship building, but also working to enhance military capability.

Yarra’s leadership group met with some of the senior defence members in Dili, including the Senior Naval Advisor and Defence Attaché to share insights with the Timor-Leste military officers residing in Dili. 

The Australian ship also provided tours while alongside, hosting military members, Australian and Timorese officials and students from the local international school representing the nations of over 15 countries.  

Sub Lieutenant Kylea Jones, a phase three Maritime Warfare Officer trainee who has recently been recommended to attend fleet board, headed the team conducting the tours.

“The enthusiasm shown by the East Timorese sailors and officers that attended was impressive, they were eager to learn about how we run things daily here on Yarra,” she said.

Whilst the ship tours were being conducted the clearance divers took advantage of an opportunity to train, advise and assist the Timor-Leste dive team. The ship’s embarked dive team demonstrated basic dive techniques and safety procedures culminating in teaching emergency responses and first aid. 

Able Seaman Clearance Diver George Cantarakis said he found the exchange of ideas rewarding.

“It was a great experience working with the East Timorese Navy. They were very appreciative of what we had to offer in terms of training and we were glad when they reciprocated by showing us one of the most stunning dives I’ve ever been on,” he said.

Able Seaman Clearance Diver Dominic Blonde was another of the Australian team sharing his knowledge.

“I feel we have created an important ongoing and productive relationship with the dive branch of our close neighbour, one that I hope to be involved in further,” he said.