After two of its soldiers were attacked by a crocodile in Australia, the Department of Defense could be fined $1.5 million for failing to provide enough training to its people. This comes after the incident.
On Friday, the workplace watchdog for the federal government, Comcare, made the announcement that the department had been penalized for failing to fulfil its responsibilities under Work Health & Safety Act 2011.
It is alleged that the Department of Defense did not offer a safe working environment by enforcing laws that forbade people from entering waters known to contain crocodiles, by carrying out risk assessments, and by giving comprehensive safety briefings regarding the risks posed by crocodiles.
If found guilty, the department faces the possibility of a fine of up to $1.5 million.
A spokeswoman for the defence stated that they were thankful for those who participated in the rescue mission but that they would not be making any other comments while the matter was being considered by the courts.
“The safety of our people is paramount in all activities and critical to our mission of defending Australia and its national interests,” the spokesman said in a statement on Friday. The statement was released on Friday.
The troops, a man in his 20s and a man in his early 30s were said to have been granted permission to fish in the community of Portland Road on the Cape York Peninsula while aboard an inflatable defence boat known as a Zodiac. Both men were in their respective early 30s.
Crocodile territory is the name given to the coastal fishing community that is around 750 kilometres north of Cairns.
During the time that the boat was anchored, the troops began swimming, and the younger of the two guys was attacked by a saltwater crocodile that dragged him below and mauled him.
It is said that the man in his early 30s successfully battled off the crocodile, which allowed the other two men to safely return to their boat.
According to Comcare, both of the guys were left with substantial injuries, including wounds caused by bites and claws.
The soldiers were reportedly transported to shore in a tinny at the time when they were met by a rescue aircraft that took them to the Lockhart River airfield.
After that, they were carried to Cairns by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and once they arrived, they were immediately taken to the hospital.
Given the amount of blood that he lost, the Queensland Ambulance Service officer Denis O’Sullivan told the Australian Associated Press that the younger man was extremely fortunate to be alive.
The subject is scheduled to be brought up in the Brisbane magistrates court on September 15 for a mention.