Monday, 11 December 2017  
How many of the 1500 asylum seeker lives lost at sea since 2001 could have been saved?
Zahra (6), Fatima (7) and Eman (9) - the daughters of Sondos Ismail and Ahmed Alzalimi -  three of the 146 children who lost their lives when the vessel that has become known as SIEVX foundered in international waters en route to Christmas Island on 19 October 2001.
  HOME
  ABOUT THIS SITE
  CONTACT ME
  SIEVX ARCHIVES
  SIEVX CHRONOLOGY
  FAQ
  READING GUIDE
  ARTICLES
   SIEVX Comment
   The Disaster
   Challenging
   Defending
   Abu Quassey
   Khaleed Daoed
   Maythem Radhi
   People Smuggling
   Not the First?
   Two Brothers
  TESTIMONY
   CMI Index
   Hansard Extracts
  DOCUMENTS
  AUDIO FILES
  BOATS DATABASE
  SIEVX PASSENGERS
  OTHER SINKINGS
  Barokah
  SIEV 358-Kaniva
  SAR 2012/5710
  SAR 2013/3821
  Agrabinta
  RESEARCH TABLES
  DROWNINGS TABLE
  MORTALITY TABLE
  PUSHBACK TABLE
  OTHER
  OTHER SIEVX SITES
  PARLIAMENT
 
Search with Google
Search sievx.com
MEDIA

GOVERNMENT
Maritime Commander Takes Swipe At Kingston

15 July 2002

Navy Didn't Turn Its Back on SIEV-X ~ Admiral Smith (Letter to SMH)

  • I have read with considerable concern articles written by Margo Kingston about the loss of SIEV-X. In "Navy did all it could to find doomed ship: PM" (Herald, July 1) I was accused of giving false evidence to the Senate committee and retracting it to avoid contradicting with evidence from Coastwatch. This is untrue, and I take personal offence at the accusation.

    Hansard records my words on April 4: "We had some information that a boat might have been being prepared in the vicinity of Sunda Strait but we had no real fixed information as to when it was going to sail. Indeed, the first time that the navy knew [it] had sailed was when we were advised through the search and rescue organisation in Canberra that [it] may have foundered in the vicinity of Sunda Strait."

    Ms Kingston has given distorting emphasis to the latter part of my statement, portraying it as a denial that the navy had any information about SIEV-X. In my evidence I explained that unconfirmed intelligence had been received, and later added a letter of clarification that she absurdly labelled a "retraction".

    The letter made the essential point that our intelligence reports come from sources of greatly varying reliability. Often these reports conflict, and cannot be solely relied upon to determine air surveillance patterns or the stationing of ships. This was the case with SIEV-X.

    Those of us charged with the responsibility of sending Australians into harm's way are prepared to weather criticism of our decisions. But Ms Kingston's allegations about ordinary sailors ("Mass drowning case could sink Navy's reputation once and for all", Herald, June 4) are unjustified. She accused them of deliberately turning their backs upon people in peril, which is unfair.

    The Royal Australian Navy is a highly professional service which places the highest importance on the safety of life at sea and, whenever we are able, we will always respond to those in distress.

    G.F. Smith,
    Rear Admiral,
    RAN Maritime Commander Australia,
    Potts Point,
    July 11

Other SIEVX news:

 http://sievx.com/archives/2002_06-07/20020715.shtml ( 6436) | ©Copyright Marg Hutton ~ sievx.com / siev-x.com 2002-2014