Soldier impaled during counter-terrorism training at Port Kembla
A soldier has been impaled on his own gun after falling from a boat during a counter terrorism training exercise at Port Kembla on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old man was attempting to climb aboard a cargo ship during an Australian Defence Force training drill within the port’s inner harbour about 1.30pm, when he lost his footing.
He fell four metres and landed on a rigid hull inflatable vessel.
He hit a steel railing and also suffered injuries to his pelvis, chest and leg.
An ambulance chopper was brought in to collect the man from near Port Kembla boat ramp, off Foreshore Road, about 2.20pm.
He was flown to St George Hospital, where he remains on Wednesday night in a stable condition.
A large number of the man’s plain-clothed fellow soldiers shielded him from public view and looked on as the aircraft took off.
The men are among ADF personnel taking part in counter-terror training at locations in Sydney, Canberra, the Illawarra and Wakefield Park throughout November and December.
The training involves simulated terrorist scenarios, played out on government and civilian infrastructure in often built-up areas and intended to mimic real-world conditions.
Some of the training involves aircraft, vehicles blank ammunition and other pyrotechnics, according to the ADF.
An ADF spokesman would reveal scant details of Wednesday’s mishap.
“Defence can confirm that an Australian Army member was injured during a routine training activity in the vicinity of Port Kembla, New South Wales, at around 1:30pm today,” he said.
“The member received first aid at the scene and was transported by a civilian air ambulance to a hospital in Sydney, where he remains in a stable condition.
“The member’s next of kin have been notified and they are receiving support from the Army.
“Defence will not be releasing any further details relating to the member’s medical condition, personal or service history.”