A CHINESE warship has injured Australian divers by blasting them with powerful sonar radiation in a shocking sea clash.
The federal government confirmed that naval divers have suffered multiple injuries on Tuesday following the Chinese military stint in International Waters.
The Chinese warship activated its hull-mounted sonar at full blast, risking the lives of the Australian Navy divers[/caption]
HMAS Toowoomba was operating in international waters in Japan’s exclusive economic zone – and was on its way to a scheduled port visit.
However, the ship had to stop for divers to clear a bunch of fishing nets that got tangled with the vessel’s propellers.
All of a sudden, a People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) destroyer DDG-139 approached, despite communications with Toowoomba.
It prompted the Aussie crew to reiterate a dive was underway and ask for the Chinese warship to stay clear.
Despite the Chinese troops acknowledging the message, they came even closer and activated their hull-mounted sonar at full blast, risking the lives of the Australian Navy divers.
They suffered minor injuries that were likely caused by the sonar, it was found later.
Richard Marles, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, lammed the PLA-N ship’s manoeuvre as “unsafe and unprofessional.”
He said in a statement: “We have expressed serious concerns to the Chinese government following an unsafe and unprofessional interaction between our navy troops.
“The safety of our ADF personnel is our utmost priority.
“Australia expects all countries, including China, to operate their militaries professionally and safely.
He added that the Australian Navy, for decades, have undertaken surveillance in the region and does so by international law.
According to the UK‘s Diving Medical Advisory Committee, divers exposed to high levels of underwater sound can suffer from “dizziness, hearing damage or injuries to other organs”, depending on the frequency and intensity of the sound.