SCDF sends elite team of 16 to help in flood rescue efforts in Australia's New South Wales

From SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team.

Nixon Tan | November 17, 2022, 06:59 PM

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An elite team of 16 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers left for Australia on Wednesday (Nov. 16) night.

The contingent was dispatched to help with flood rescue efforts in the south-eastern state of New South Wales.

The flooding took place after heavy storms over the weekend, according to The Straits Times (ST).

The entire town of Eugowra — home to roughly 800 people — has been left devastated, and at least one person lost their life, while two others are feared missing in the floodwaters, reported local police.

Local authorities provided an update on the situation, saying that 225 buildings were deemed "damaged", out of 284 buildings assessed.

The rescue mission has been dubbed Operation Lionheart.

Operation Lionheart

In a Facebook post on the SCDF page, the contingent departed for Australia at about 9pm.

Led by Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART)'s commander, Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Lok Wee Keong, they left on a flight arranged on short notice by Singapore Airlines.

Supporting LTC Lok are DART officers Lieutenant Sabree Dusuki and Lieutenant Ahmad Faizal.

The officers each have more than 25 years of operational experience in DART.

The rest of the contingent is made up of an operations support officer and 12 DART officers trained in rescue and lifesaving.

Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development was present to send the contingent off.

A separate Facebook post by SCDF reported that the contingent arrived on Thursday (Nov. 17) at 7:40am, and discussions on how the DART contingent will be deployed are underway.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales State Emergency Service updated that the SCDF contingent arrived at one of its units and will receive induction training.

ImagePhoto via NSW's State Emergency Service on Twitter. 

More about the floods

Over the past few weeks, many parts of eastern and southern Australia have been struck with severe flooding due to heavy downpours, ST reported.

Rescue teams in New South Wales are labelling this as the largest flood emergency in state history.

This is the fourth major flood this year that has hit Australia as the country faces its third consecutive La Nina event, typically associated with increased rainfalls.

Top Photo via Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters on Twitter