The Navy family has again paused to remember nine Air Force and Navy personnel who lost their lives when helicopter ‘Shark 02’ crashed during humanitarian relief operations on the island of Nias, south of Sumatra in 2005.
HMAS Darwin, with Commander Phillip Henry in charge, paid tribute to the personnel who lost their lives in the accident in a ceremony as the ship was transiting the north-east coast of Sumatra en route to the Middle East.
The Australian Defence Force provided humanitarian relief to Indonesia in the form of Operations SUMATRA ASSIST I & II, following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and March 2005 earthquake.
Sadly, on 2 April 2005, nine Australians lost their lives during the relief effort.
The ship's company of Darwin proceeded to the upper decks to form up, and Chaplain Richard Quadrio used the ship’s main broadcast system to provide a background on the operation and read out the names of those personnel lost.
A minute’s silence was then observed. Perfectly on cue, the minute’s silence ended and Darwin’s embarked Seahawk helicopter ‘Battlecat’ conducted a ceremonial pass down the starboard side of the ship.
It was a special occasion for all Darwin’s crew, according to the ship’s Flight Commander Lieutenant Commander Kye Hayman.
"The ‘Shark 02’ tragedy hit the Fleet Air Arm community very hard, and sailing in this region brings my, and many others, thoughts to the events of 2005," Lieutenant Commander Hayman said.
"I’m glad we could do something that remembers the sacrifices made that day."
Darwin is currently transiting via South East Asia to the Middle East region for a six month operational deployment.