Sailor does well

Reporters covering the Inquiry into the incident where the asylum queue jumpers set fire to their boat are having a field day with anti navy statements as the story starts to unfold. AUSTRALIAN defence personnel kicked asylum-seekers in the head to stop them from clambering aboard a rescue boat in the aftermath of a fatal explosion.
Corporal Sharon Jager, an air force officer Non Commissioned Officer with post-traumatic stress disorder, broke down as she recounted the chaos following the explosion on the boat, known as SIEV36, in April last year. Cprl Cpl Jager, who had no experience in boarding illegal vessels, testified she was “shoulder-to-shoulder” in the water with asylum-seekers and watched in horror as a naval colleague in an inflatable rescue boat kicked two men in the head in order to save her first.
Why "watched in horror?" She's in the water clinging to a piece of wood, close to drowning and more than likely in severe shock; I would've thought "watched in relief" would be closer to the truth. Is she suggesting that she would've given up her chance to be saved for a queue jumper?
“I saw (Able Seaman Adrian) Medbury leave his position and he's moved along physically and he's moved the two asylum-seekers, saying, `f..k off, get the f..k off her' as he dragged me into the boat,” Crpl Cpl Jager told Coroner Greg Cavanag.
I would think that if Medbury hadn't acted as he did the queue jumpers would've climbed over Cpl Jager's drowned body to save themselves. He was obviously under stress and functioning as a trained sailor should and unless you were there in the same situation then you can't criticize him. For me, I say 'Well done, that man! He was trying to save you Cpl and you should be thanking him for saving your life not pointing out how horrified you were at his actions. So he was swearing! He's a sailor under extreme pressure. Had my life gone differently I may have joined the Navy and if so I could've been a Lt Comdr involved in this branch. Had that been the case I would have had a point in unit/Ship SOPs that included, inter alia "save the crew first so they can more effectively save the others should any such incident occur. The Captain has responsibility to his crew and he needs all of them to effectively carry out his mission and what if his after Action Report read; "We saved all of the queue jumpers who blew up their boat but in doing so five Australian sailors were drowned" An attachment to the report would have had to be his signed resignation. (The strike outs are just me correcting the reporters abysmal Staff Duties!)


  • God alone knows how she’d cope under fire.

    Oh, the horror of it all.

    Delicate little petal should probably not be in the services.

  • The first rule of first aid in all the numerous courses I have done, is “Look after number one first or you can’t assist those that need your help”.

    Well done that man who looked after the crew.

  • Kev
    I recall one of the basic principles of my St John’s training (all those years ago as a young teacher) – you have to save yourself before you’re any use to anyone else. It seems to be lost on the media covering this who are looking for someone to blame.
    Sadly, servicemen and women, police, paramedics, firies, nurses and teachers are always hung out to dry by the media in these situations.

    • I feel I’ve got to ask this one……how do teachers rate a mention here amongst the military and emergency services personnel? I can understand where the others make life and death decisions that may or may not be railed at by the media, but teachers?????

      • It happens.
        I can remember two situations in my 40 year career where life and death decisions were in play. One was a kid stung by bees with an allergic reaction, the other a lad with muscular dystrophy who collapsed at Townsville airport on the way to Expo. I was involved in emergency CPR in both cases. The first one survived, the second didn’t. In the second case the Regional Director demanded that I go straight to his office and write a report, immediately after I’d had to break the news to his mother and brother.
        He was worried about media reaction, and wanted to have all the facts available. Whilst I didn’t appreciate it at the time, he was correct.
        In these situations, the media often resemble a pack of hyenas.

        • Firstly,

          I have been in your shoes in relation to applying first aid.
          I know what you are alluding to and I congratulate you on your success and sympathise with the one that did not respond.

          I still cannot see that the teaching profession as such can be thought of as having a requirement to make the decisions that we are talking about here, in the way that the services, and emergency services personnel are required to do.

          If we include teachers we have to include all work place first aiders and I believe that is too broad in this situation. I also do not believe that the media would have much of a bloodlust for a teacher who did what was required in a first aid situation.

          I believe that your superior took too much on himself in requiring you to attend to the parents and in immediately preparing a report in the method you indicate. First aid personnel are expected to make reports but he may have overstepped the mark. I would have thought the police would have handled the parents.

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • 1735099
    That point would have been driven home at Holsworthy all those years ago surely, before the teaching years.

  • Seriously you congratulate someone for kicking them in the head.
    Was that person one of the five that drowned. If so isn’t that murder?
    Even if this person was saved latter you are a disgrace.

    • No, it’s not murder. In life or death situations decisions need to be made for the common good and steps taken accordingly. If you were in the boat and your crew mate in the water close to death due to the actions of the others in the water would you not save her first?

      I can understand you being ideologically opposed to what I write but you do need to think things through. As I said in the post unless you have been in similar situations you can’t really condemn the man and if you don’t understand the basics of rescue at sea in hazardous situations then how can you even have an opinion?

      Or is it simply because you would put the well being of queue jumpers ahead of those who risk their lives to save them.

      • Ok Kev, so you reckon the person that was kicked in the head quite possibily drowned.
        Maybe not murder but certainly manslaughter.
        You ask if I was in the boat and a crew mate was in the water “close to death” ( thats a giant assumption) would I save her first. No I would save first first.

        Yes an I understand you might be a little bitter and twisted from what may have happened to you in the past and somewhat of a redneck ;-) but I have an opinion because I think and continue to live a whole lot of life.

        Your last paragraph gives you away as the type of person who views some lives as more valueable than others. Very simular to an american self justificational veiw were there are american dead and then there are the ‘others’.

        I wish people would show some compassion, Do you know anything about what it takes for these people to be so desparate to do this.

        The whole situation occured because of the lack of training hence the incompetance of the boarding party.

        I apreciate you not decending into potty mouthed abuse. It shows you have some qualities.

        I reckon we could have some interesting discussions.
        A rare find these days.

        • Michael, some lives ARE worth more than others.

          In this case the life is more valuable because she is trained to help save the very lives that are at risk in that situation. Throw in the fact that they deliberately put themselves and the ADF members lives at risk to attempt to jump the queue past some genuinely deserving people and I have no sympathy at all for them.

          Re the lack of training, in the real world almost everyone has to do a degree of on the job training, it isn’t ideal, but it is life.

        • If these people just blew up their own ship, would it not be prudent to protect ones self and crew first before pulling them on board to outnumber and possibly blow me up? I understand these people must have been through a lot, but I also understand that blowing up their own boat with all those people on board shows that they were unpredicatable, dangerous, and potentially a threat to the lives of those brave and very competent Australians. Yes, it may be a prejudice view point without the evidence of what occurred, but it is also one of self preservation. As the sister of a crewman, I understand that I want MY brother alive and that everyone reacted to the circumstances at hand. Had you been there, then I would love to have seen how you would have really reacted under such shock and stress.

    • Hey Mick, just for the moment put youself in the shoes of the sailor you so easily condemn. Okay got the shoes on?
      Now put your mum in the shoes of the sailor in the water. I know they won’t fit, but try.
      Okay now it’s your choice, what do you do?

      If your mum reads this blog I hope you make the right choice my friend.

      Remember your mum is trying her damned best to save the people that are clambering over the top of her and they couldn’t care if she drowned or not. Luckily mum has you, isn’t it. Once you have mum out of the water you can return to doing your utmost to save as many as possible from drowning as I am more than positive the naval boys and girls did in this situation.

  • And had he rescued the illegals first, would she have been alive to tell about it now?

  • It was, but I was a teacher before I was a soldier.

  • Well done that man..

    OK let’s move onto something more important – are Abbott’s daughters virgins? Or some other interesting topic like that

  • Mick has obviously never had any close mates and never served in any of the forces, so lets not get carried away with his comments. Those of us that have both know where we stand. The illegals created their own situation so they should have been left to look after there own. They had been shipmates for a couple of months, to set fire to the vessell was a clear case of either insanity or a complete disregard for their fellow patriots.b Neither of which is highly regarded by any true blue Oz….

    • Roly, Presumpious aren’t you.No close mate aye, lol. thats an ignorant staement mate.
      The ‘illegals’ as you call them. ( Is thats just your way of saying lesser humans?) didn’t create ” their own situation so they should have been left to look after there own”. My God what a ignorant animal you are.
      Fact is the Government in both countries created the problem, they are victims of their and our governments. Both governments have no sense of humanity.

  • Typical Air Force sook if you ask me.

  • Really can’t understand your vitriolic repartee Mick..

    and as for being “a ignorant animal”. Shame you haven’t got spell check or grammatical correction on your computer….LOL

    • roly,
      Of course you don’t understand. I don’t expect you to.
      Also pathetic ( but not suprising ) that you take the juvenile tack of picking a typo as some sort of response and win, and to fool yourself that your response has any sort of wit.

  • Mickey…” presumpious”–“staement”—hardly typo’s, tho’ not in my dictionary.

    Go and read a bit of history before you start blaming Australia, the atrocities have been happening in Afghanistan and other Arab countries long before Australia was even discovered….you are really showing your ignorance now and not worthy of further comment….

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