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Maritime commander receives Westralia Board of Inquiry report

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NEWS RELEASE \p * fj of Ό&(λ λ λ ~ < -κ

DPAO 1 6 9 /9 8 f >f\S . Λ Friday A ugust 2 8 , 1998


The Maritime Commander, Rear Admiral Chris Ritchie, today received the Report from the Naval Board of Inquiry into the engine room fire that claimed four lives in HMAS Westralin on May 5 this year.

Rear Admiral Ritchie will now consider the Report’s findings and recommendations before passing it on to the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Don Chalmers, for further consideration.

When Chief of Navy has made his decisions on action to be taken, both the Board of Inquiry's recommendations and the subsequent decisions will be passed to the Minister for Defence.

The findings of the Board of Inquiry will be carefully examined in detail to enable appropriate remedial measures to be taken. However, findings which impact on safety will be acted upon immediately.

It is expected that the Minister for Defence will make a public statement once the findings and recommendations have been fully considered.

The WestrtxLia BOI was open to the public and included two independent civilian experts to ensure a wide breadth of experience informed its recommendations.

The purpose of a Board of Inquiry is to establish the facts.

A statement or disclosure made by a witness in the course of giving evidence before a Board of Inquiry cannot be used in subsequent civil or military legal proceedings. Where the findings of a Board of Inquiry indicated that some further action, whether civil or military, may be warranted, separate

proceedings to Investigate and collect evidence would be required.

Further Information: Lieutenant Mark Croxford 02 6265 1164 (w)

0417 482 447 (mob)

litu ea cv the O rectorate of Pyollu Kplat.cns, D < jp " 't-r io f Deterge. Canberra ACT, 2600