Embassy staff gather to remember Shark 02

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author)

Australian military and civilian staff gathered at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta to mark the 10th anniversary of the Nias Sea King crash. (photo: Unknown)
Australian military and civilian staff gathered at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta to mark the 10th anniversary of the Nias Sea King crash.

Australian military and civilian staff have gathered at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta to mark the 10th anniversary of the Nias Sea King crash.

On 2 April 2005, nine Australian Defence Force members lost their lives when the Navy Sea King helicopter 'Shark 02' crashed at Amandraya on the Indonesian island of Nias. Two members survived the crash after being dragged from the wreckage by locals. The accident occurred as the Australian Defence Force was providing assistance to the region, following a devastating earthquake.

Four of the local people who helped rescue the two survivors were later awarded Australian Bravery Medals.

Australia's Head of Defence Staff in Jakarta, Brigadier John Gould led an Australian Defence Force delegation to Nias recently to visit the memorial erected in honour of those who perished, and to speak with the local people who help Australia care for it.

"Nias was a terrible tragedy but ten years on, we remain determined to preserve the memory of all those involved," Brigadier Gould said.  "The Australian Defence Force will forever be grateful to the people of Nias for the assistance they provided at the time."

A ceremony was held at a second memorial to the tragedy, outside the Australian Embassy building. A bell struck after the names of each of the nine members was read to the gathering. Tributes were also paid to both survivors of the accident.

Australia's Head of Mission, Mr Paul Grigson was among those who joined the Australian Defence Force contingent.

"Today we remember the families and friends who are still suffering," he said.

"May all involved continue to receive healing in body and in mind."