(Photo: � Crown Copyright/MOD 2012)
RAF Sea King Rescue Helicopter
“The UK�s media have gleefully reported on the landing by a search and rescue helicopter crew on a beach, �so the pilot can buy ice cream�, to quote the Telegraph newspaper.
After the Royal Air Force (RAF) Sea King landed on the sand at Winterton-on-Sea, onlookers watched (and photographed) a crew member exit the aircraft and enter a beachside caf�, before emerging with ice creams.” waypointmagazine.com
Goaty says:� SAR ops often involve beach landings, it is important for crews to regularly practise this skill. Considering the great service these crews give the public, to begrudge them from taking the opportunity for a little cool refreshment on a hot day, is quite petty. If a crew made a flight, or diverted from an emergency call, especially to buy ice-cream (wouldn’t happen), that, would be worth criticism. Leave these guys alone, they deserve respect, not this….
Last year the same Daily Telegraph (29 Nov 2011) was saying
“Britain�s highly respected Royal Navy and RAF search and rescue teams are to be privatised despite objections from the Duke of Cambridge.”
“By 2016 the country�s coastline and mountains will be patrolled by civilians replacing 90 RAF and Royal Navy pilots, the Government announced. The move will mean the end to 60 years of military search and rescue by servicemen who have saved thousands of lives both at sea and off mountain tops.”
Apart from the RAF and the RN, our current SAR providers include the Coastguard, who have their own rescue helicopters. They are already facing planned cuts -� 50% of Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCC�s) are to be axed.
Coastguard Rescue Helicopter
I doubt whether SAR ops run by private companies (presumably for profit) would ever be able to match the very high standards the public have enjoyed for the last three decades.
Both the future privatisation of SAR & the Coastguard cuts could result in a loss of vital expertise and local knowledge, perhaps then the ‘hue and cry’ will be not be so much about ice creams as lives lost.
Full story here: