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Thursday, 24 November 2016

UK Coastguard co-ordinates long range rescue mission with RAF Hercules


A timely reminder of the work carried out by the new SAR teams the length and breadth of the UK coastline - and in this instance owing to the reduced range of the helicopter in strong winds an RAF Hercules transport plane flew in support.

From the MSC: "The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Stornoway has rescued an unwell crewman from a vessel which was a massive 180 miles offshore. The long range mission, launched after the Spanish Coast Guard asked for help to bring the crewman to shore, needed the extra communications and safety support of an RAF Brize Norton​ Hercules C-130 aircraft due to the distance involved.

Just after 8.30pm on Saturday 8 October, UK Coastguard were notified that the vessel was about 230 miles North West of the Isle of Lewis and was beyond the range that the helicopter could reach safely. Once the ship was within a safe range, the UK Coastguard helicopter was sent to scene by the UK Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC), under the watchful wing of the Royal Air Force​'s Hercules. Due to the long distance, the Hercules provided vital communication support and safety cover, acting as a go-between to prepare the vessel for the winching operation, which saved vital time during the mission. The injured man was winched on to the helicopter and was taken to Inverness Airport where he was transferred to Raigmore hospital by the Scottish Ambulance Service. More on this story here:

Peter Wood, Winchman Paramedic for the UK Coastguard helicopter based at Stornoway said: 'When you’re at this range in a life and death situation such as this one, every minute counts, so to know that the military had our backs if we got into trouble was a huge relief. We wish the crewman a speedy recovery.’"

More on this story here