UK: RAF Search & Rescue Role Ends After 74 Years – Published 04 Oct 2015 1925z (GMT/UTC)

RAF Search & Rescue Role Ends After 74 Years

PROUD RECORD: 34,025 Call-outs completed and 26,853 lives saved

The RAF's final operational search and rescue sortie comes to an end at RMB Chivenor at 12.07 on 4 October 2015. (Image: RAF)

The RAF’s final operational search and rescue sortie comes to an end at RMB Chivenor at 12.07 on 4 October 2015. (Image: RAF)

More than 74 years of continuous life-saving operations by the Royal Air Force in the UK came to an end at 1.00pm today, when the Chivenor duty search and rescue crew was formally relieved from its standby commitment by the United Kingdom Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre. The finale for RAF Search and Rescue in the UK was ‘business as usual’ with a final search and rescue operation taking place in the early hours of this morning.

The crew of the RAF's final operational UK search and rescue sortie: (left to right) Wing Commander 'Sparky' Dunlop (captain and Officer Commanding 22 Squadron), Sergeant Dan Allanson, Sergeant Russ Jenkins and Flight Lieutenant 'PJ' Howard. (Image: RAF)

The crew of the RAF’s final operational UK search and rescue sortie: (left to right) Wing Commander ‘Sparky’ Dunlop (captain and Officer Commanding 22 Squadron), Sergeant Dan Allanson, Sergeant Russ Jenkins and Flight Lieutenant ‘PJ’ Howard. (Image: RAF)

Chivenor is the last of the RAF’s 6 search and rescue bases to hand over responsibility for helicopter search and rescue provision to Bristow Helicopters Ltd.

Official search and rescue statistics show that since 1983 the RAF’s 6 units completed 34,025 callouts and rescued 26,853 persons in distress.

The final RAF crew to hold operational search and rescue standby commitment in the UK: (left to right) Sergeant Doug Bowden, Flight Lieutenant Ayla Holdom, Flight Lieutenant Christian 'Taff' Wilkins and Flight Sergeant Chris Scurr.(Image: RAF)

The final RAF crew to hold operational search and rescue standby commitment in the UK: (left to right) Sergeant Doug Bowden, Flight Lieutenant Ayla Holdom, Flight Lieutenant Christian ‘Taff’ Wilkins and Flight Sergeant Chris Scurr.(Image: RAF)

Other Reports

BBC

Chivenor hands over air rescue services to private firm

AgustaWestland AW189 in Coastguard livery operated by Bristow

AgustaWestland AW189 in Coastguard livery operated by Bristow

An RAF air rescue team based at Chivenor in north Devon has handed over its role to a private firm.

Bristow took over from the military at RMB Chivenor at 13:00 BST and will fly out of St Athan in south Wales.

The handover was delayed by four days because Bristow said it needed extra time.

Aberdeen-based Bristow won a 10-year contract to take over the service, which is being privatised around the UK.

The £1.6bn search and rescue deal with Bristow ends 70 years of search and rescue from the RAF and Royal Navy.

END

Well done RAF! – Goaty 🙂

Related:

UK Search & Rescue helicopters to be cut by nearly 50% – 300313 1650z

UK Government plan to close 50% of UK Coastguard Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centres – Updated 07 Feb 2013 0001Z: https://goatysnews.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/uk-government-plan-to-close-50-of-uk-coastguard-maritime-rescue-co-ordination-centres-published-23-aug-2012-2310z/

Privatising Search and Rescue: https://goatysnews.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/5765/

Could this be the coalition government’s biggest cock-up yet?: https://goatysnews.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/3435/

Support flaring for Clyde Coastguard, Scotland – Published 03 Sept 2012 1440Z: https://goatysnews.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/support-flaring-for-clyde-coastguard-scotland-published-03-sept-2012-1440z/

UK: Cliff rescue at Sewerby, East Yorkshire, after 17 yr old tried to rescue dog over cliff edge – Published 300115 1827z

My PhotoFriday, 30 January 2015
YOUTH RESCUED FROM CLIFFS AT SEWERBY, EAST YORKSHIRE
A seventeen year old who went after his dog after it had gone over a cliff edge had to be rescued himself.
Humber Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre received a 999 call from the youth’s mother at 3.15pm on 29th January to say he was stuck on cliffs at Sewerby, close to the MRCC.
His mother said he had tried to rescue their dog which had gone over the cliff edge. The dog had made its own way back, leaving the 17 year old stuck on an icy ledge.
Humber Coastguard immediately sent the Coastguard Rescue Teams from Bridlington and Filey to the scene to assess the situation. On arrival the Coastguard Rescue officers made the decision that the quickest and safest method of rescue would be by helicopter so the RAF Rescue Helicopter based at Leconfield rescued the youth from the cliff.


Watch Manager Mike Puplett said
‘This was a well executed rescue and was resolved quickly.
‘However my message once again is for dog owners to keep their pets on a lead when they are close to cliff edges.

‘Also, members of the public should never climb or descend cliffs in order to carry out a rescue themselves.
‘The weather on that day was inclement, and a snow flurry had just engulfed the area, making the cliffs even more treacherous.’

 

UK: Searchers for missing trawler Z85 Morgenster in English Channel find bodies – Published 290115 1900z (GMT/UTC)

My Photo

Friday, 30 January 2015
UPDATE ON SEARCH FOR OVERDUE FISHING VESSEL
The Search and Rescue operation looking for the missing fishing vessel which had been fishing in the Dover Strait is being co-ordinated by the French coast guard as it is now in their territorial waters.

Dover Coastguard was initially alerted to the missing vessel on the afternoon of 28th January.

The search is now concentrated on an area four miles from the French coast. Any further involvement of the UK authorities will be at the request of the French coast guard.

Thursday, 29 January 2015
UPDATE ON SEARCH FOR OVERDUE FISHING VESSEL
The search continues this morning for a missing fishing vessel which had been fishing in the Dover Strait.
Dover Coastguard was alerted to the disappearance yesterday afternoon. Four crew were known to be onboard.
An RAF helicopter is searching the area along with a French maritime aircraft. Two all-weather lifeboats from Dungeness and Dover are on the scene.
A number of Belgian and Dutch fishing vessels remain on the scene in the area, looking out for any sign of their missing colleagues.
The weather conditions on scene remain challenging.

End

LifeboatsDungeness and Dover RNLI lifeboats search for missing Belgian fishing trawler

The volunteer lifeboat crews of two Kent RNLI lifeboat stations launched yesterday evening (Wednesday 28 January) to help search for a Belgian fishing trawler in the English Channel.

Dungeness all-weather lifeboat launched at 5.08pm after being tasked by Solent Coastguard to search for the 40m vessel which lost all communication earlier the same day at 1.30pm.

The Belgian-registered trawler, carrying a crew of four people, was situated 10 miles south of Dungeness when all contact was lost.

Hours after the Dungeness RNLI crew launched, Dover Coastguard requested the launch of Dover RNLI lifeboat to assist in the search. The crew launched their all-weather lifeboat just after 7pm.

Also involved in the search were coastguard helicopters Rescue 104 and Rescue 125. It is also understood several other fishing trawlers were assisting with the search.

Chris Ubee, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dungeness RNLI, said the weather and sea conditions for his crew of five volunteers were challenging at first, but later subsided. He said: ‘In the afternoon there was some strong gusting winds and the sea was very lumpy. That did later calm slightly and by 10pm the crew were searching beneath clear skies, with a moderate breeze and moderate to rough seas.’

However, for the Dover lifeboat crew conditions were set to worsen through the night, with a warning of severe gales expected after 11pmon Wednesday. Billy Hollis, Deputy Launching Authority for Dover RNLI said: ‘Our crew of eight volunteers were tasked to search an area known as Varn Bank, south of Dover.

‘Throughout the evening we were operating approximately eight miles away from where Dungeness lifeboat were searching, which gives an idea of the sizeable search area

’Throughout the evening we were operating approximately eight miles away from where Dungeness lifeboat were searching, which gives an idea of the sizeable search area.’

At midnight, both Dungeness and DOver RNLI lifeboats were still searching for any sign of the missing trawler. The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats are equipped to search up to 100 nautical miles out to sea. At the speeds they were travelling, it was estimated the lifeboats could search for several days without needing to refuel.

  • Update 7am, Thursday 29 January. Hastings RNLI lifeboat crew were asked to join he search at 12.15am today (Thursday). Dungeness RNLI lifeboat crew were stood down at 12.50am. And at 4.45am, both Dover and Hastings RNLI lifeboats returned to their stations when the search was suspended, possibly to recommence at first light

Press Report

BBC   29 January 2015 Last updated at 17:04

Missing trawler rescue teams find bodies in English Channel

The vessel believed to be missing off Dungeness

The vessel went missing in rough seas and strong winds

Rescuers searching for a Belgian trawler missing in the English Channel with four people on board have recovered two bodies from the sea.

The search for the fishing boat began on Wednesday afternoon when it vanished in rough seas and gale force winds.

The RNLI said the bodies, which were found in the sea off Boulogne, had been recovered back to the French port.

A life jacket and wooden debris were spotted by a French fixed wing aircraft north-west of Boulogne earlier.

Those on board the Z85 Morgenster are believed to be Dutch, Portuguese and Belgian.

A coastguard helicopter, two Kent lifeboats and a French search and rescue helicopter carried out the first search for the trawler, which had been fishing in the Dover Strait.

A number of Belgian and Dutch fishing vessels have also been in the area looking for any signs of the missing vessel.

2 Lancaster Bombers Fly Together for First Time in 50 Years

RAF Families Federation

At RAF Conings2 Lancaster Bombers Fly Together for First Time in 50 Years.by in Lincolnshire two Lancaster Bombers took to the skies yesterday for the first formation flight of this aircraft type since the 1960s.  The Lancaster “Thumper”, which is… More information. If you are using a MOBILE DEVICE please use this link

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The Order of St John and Mountain Rescue?

heavywhalleyr

I bet few who use the Outdoors know about the wonderful work of the Order Of St John and its incredible assistance to Mountain Rescue in Scotland? Hope fully after reading this you may have an idea of what work they have done.

Order of st John Logo

This is the copy of a letter I wrote to the Order when I retired from Mountain Rescue. Firstly please accept my sincere apologies for not writing before to thank you for all your great work for the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland over the year for the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland over the years. I was the Chairman of the Mountain Rescue Committee in the early nineties when we were first approached by the Order of St John who wanted to assist Mountain Rescue in Scotland.

I was at that time in the RAF and serving at RAF Kinloss in Morayshire. I was the Team…

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UK: Two walkers flown to safety after Cairngorms rescue near Devil’s Point – 291013 1500z

Police Scotland can confirm that they were called to assist with a mountain rescue in the central Cairngorms on Monday, October 28, at around 6.45pm, after two male walkers reported they were lost in the Devils Point area, near Cairn Toul.

File:Cairngorms-sketch-map.jpg

A full mountain rescue deployment was immediately launched, building to eight mountain rescue teams, as well as the RAF Search and Rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.

The lost walkers were found by searchers in a very precarious location on the high plateau at around 8.15am, suffering the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion. They were then evacuated by helicopter to the Mountain Rescue Centre at Braemar.

Chief Inspector Andrew Todd, team leader of the Police Scotland (Grampian) Mountain Rescue Team, said:
This mountain rescue incident gave us grave cause for concern as the lives of these individuals were clearly in jeopardy.
Specially-trained and experienced mountain rescue officers worked through the night with volunteers from both the Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams. We brought in support from volunteer teams in both Tayside and the Highlands & Islands, as well as search and rescue dogs and the RAF, so that we could find the hill walkers before they succumbed to cold, wet and exhaustion.
It was very rewarding for all those involved when we found them. They were on very steep ground and unable to move, but we were able to evacuate them safely back to Braemar. Thankfully, they did not sustain any serious injuries and were able to return home after they were checked over at the Mountain Rescue Centre.” Lomond Mountain Rescue Team

Other reports

Two walkers flown to safety after Cairngorms rescue near Devil’s Point

BBC

Two walkers were flown to safety after a major overnight search in the Cairngorms.

Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams were among those assisted by a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth during the operation.

They faced blizzard conditions in the Devil’s Point area, near Cairn Toul.

The alarm was raised on Monday night. The two men were found in a “precarious location” at about 08:15, suffering the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion.

‘Very rewarding’

Ch Insp Andrew Todd, team leader of the Police Scotland (Grampian) Mountain Rescue Team, said: “This mountain rescue incident gave us grave cause for concern as the lives of these individuals were clearly in jeopardy.

“Specially-trained and experienced mountain rescue officers worked through the night with volunteers from both the Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams.

“We brought in support from volunteer teams in both Tayside and the Highlands and Islands, as well as search and rescue dogs and the RAF, so that we could find the hill walkers before they succumbed to cold, wet and exhaustion.”

He added: “It was very rewarding for all those involved when we found them.

“Thankfully, they did not sustain any serious injuries and were able to return home after they were checked over.”

Related

Cairngorm John’s guide to staying safe in the mountains this winter

“For many people, the lure of tackling Scotlands mountains in winter is irresistible.

The prospect of walking, climbing or skiing on pristine-white slopes, amid a sun-drenched vista, carries understandable attractions for all those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.

Yet, as John Allen, the man who led the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue team from 1989 to 2007, is only too aware, there are few things more foolhardy than taking to the hills without adequate precautions to ensure a terrific day out isnt transformed into a terrifying white-out.

Allen penned his autobiography, Cairngorm John (Sandstone Publishing) last year and recounted his myriad experiences on the mountains, where the weather can close in on unsuspecting climbers in the space of a few moments.

And he has witnessed enough tragedies to realise that you can never tame Nature to the stage where you have eliminated risk altogether.

Indeed, the winter of 2012-13 was a pretty grim season on the slopes. In January, four climbers perished on Glencoe, a walker subsequently died in the Cairngorms, and three others lost their lives, following a devastating avalanche in February.

Allen knows as much as anybody about the ferocity of the conditions during these incidents.

He said: It is positively Arctic. The wind can pick you up and physically throw you in the air. The visibility can be reduced by blinding snow and cloud to one or two metres and the temperature is regularly well below -18C.

Your domestic freezer runs at that temperature. That will freeze beef or even horse meat. Most climbers simply cannot comprehend what these conditions are like.

So, when you go to the mountains, it will never be entirely risk-free. But it should be remembered that avalanche conditions can be recognised and steps taken to avoid them.

John Allen’s top eight tips for those on the mountains in winter.

via STV via STV
  • Do NOT go out unless you can comfortably navigate in mist or darkness using a Silva-type compass and Ordnance Survey map. Your map should be protected from the damp – a freezer bag will do nicely.
  • Never go out without consulting the avalanche forecast and the weather forecast. (There are plenty of good web sites, such as http://www.stv.tv).
  • Do NOT go out without your ice axe and crampons and head torch. Practice your ice axe braking techniques at the start of the winter. Replace the batteries on your head torch.
  • Be prepared to alter your route or turn back. There is no shame in making a retreat. In fact, it is often the mark of the experienced mountaineer that they can make the disciplined retreat.
  • Never rely only on your mobile phone. There are many areas where there is no signal. Keep your phone switched off to preserve batteries. Do NOT rely on an App map for your navigation or the compass on your phone. (One of our team members once said that if your phone was dead, the only way to attract the attention of the CMRT would be to throw the phone at them!)
  • Don’t rely on Global Positioning Satellite devices. They are not always correct and, in a deep corrie or valley, you may not get three satellites to give your position.
  • Good winter boots and outer shell clothing are, of course, a necessity.
  • Dialling 999 should be a last resort – only used after considering all the options.

One last thought….

At the end of the day, we can never eliminate all the risks of being in the hills.

There is the quote from many years ago which I often use: If you go into the mountains, if you want to see what beauty they offer, you have to accept that the mountains can take as well as give.

These words were spoken by a woman who had lost her father, nearly 50 years ago, while he was guiding on the Tour Ronde. They are worth remembering by everyone.

Mountain Weather Forecasts (Met Office)

Search & Rescue News (Goatys News)