Congratulations are in order for the mines rescue team from Rio Tinto's Kestrel Coal Mine, who have placed in the International Mines Rescue competition, held in Poland last week.
On Friday afternoon, during a ceremony held at the historical Wilson Mine Shaft in Katowice, the Kestrel team were called to the stage to accept third place in the Simulated Body Recovery exercise.
Team captain Derrin Powell was surprised and delighted at the result, and clearly proud to take a prize in what was a psychologically challenging competition.
“It's unbelievable that we've even been able to place in the competition,” he told Australian Mining.
The competition was overwhelmingly dominated by Polish rescue teams, most notably the team from the Central Mines Rescue Station in Bytom, who took first place in the same category.
The exercises involved learning local Polish mines rescue law, by which the rules of the competition were set.
Powell said the competition was psychologically challenging, due to the need to overcome language barriers, and to learn the local laws required for success
A simplified version of the Geological and Mines Rescue Act was provided for teams in the competition, which included teams from China, Mongolia, Canada, America, and India.
The entire competition was held in secret, with no photography allowed of the teams as they underwent assessment.
The rescue team from Glencore's Oaky Creek also took part in the competition, creating some Australian rivalry as the mine is located only 30 kilometres from the Kestrel coal mine in Queensland.
Central Mines Rescue Station vice president Miroslaw Baginski said it was an honour to have teams from around the world, including the Australian teams, to compete in the competition, as well as to learn more about Polish culture.
Pictured below: The mines rescue team from Glencore's Oaky Creek mine.