Lyme Regis RNLI and coastguards meet new Search And Rescue team
The coastguard helicopter crew taking over SAR - Search And Rescue - duties from the team based at Portland dropped in to Lyme Regis yesterday (23 April) to meet RNLI volunteers and their coastguard colleagues.
Coastguard helicopter 175, based at Lee-on-the-Solent and its crew of four, landed on Woodroffe School's playing field to give the lifeboat and coastguard volunteers a chance to familiarise themselves with the new aircraft and to exercise winching into and out of the eight seater Augusta 189.
The teams were shown all over the helicopter by the aircraft's captain Simon Cree, co-pilot Will Warboys, winch operator Ritchie Waterton and winchman Rob Sanches.
Capt. Cree, a former Sea King pilot with the RAF, said the £26m coastguard helicopter's endurance was three and a half hours at speeds of 130/135 knots .
He added:'The visit to Lyme Regis is all about hearts and minds and getting to know each other. We regard ourselves as an asset to the coastguards and the RNLI.'
John Broome, training co-ordinator at the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat station, said:"This training session was immensely useful. We have already exercised with the new aircraft and crew at sea, but to meet the crew and examine the aircraft at close quarters has been very useful,'
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.