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 forceWhy "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?
officerNon 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. CprlCpl 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.
“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,”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!)
CrplCpl Jager told Coroner Greg Cavanag.