On Saturday, November 30, Bristow celebrates its contribution to achieving a significant milestone — 30 years of delivering search and rescue (SAR) services from Sumburgh on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). Bristow crew members past and present, the MCA, Sikorsky and representatives of local search and rescue operational partner organizations will gather at the SAR base at Sumburgh Airport to mark the anniversary.
Richard Parkes, Director of Maritime Operations at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), will present a Coastguard Meritorious Award to the base. A letter of commendation from Sergei Sikorsky and an award will be presented by Sikorsky. Bristow will present individual Operational Excellence Awards. Member of Parliament Stephen Hammond has sent a videotaped message, as has Bristow Group President and CEO Bill Chiles and Bristow Helicopters Managing Director Mike Imlach.
Chris Bond, now with Bristow Q&S Global Standards, was at Sumburgh at the beginning when Bristow began delivering SAR, going back 37 years. As chief crewman, in fact, Bond helped set up SAR operations in Sumburgh in 1983. He commented on the history of Bristow in delivering SAR services in Bristow.
“There is no better way to help our fellow man. I can’t emphasize enough the enthusiasm and commitment of the people that work in the SAR community. There are people at Sumburgh and Stornoway that have been there since the beginning. There was one young fellow I remember at Sumburgh — it was Kieran Murray Junior — that I was pushing on swings with my kids when he was five years old, and he is now a SAR commander. These are dedicated people who have created an amazing unit and their whole lives revolve around their work.”
Bond also helped set up Stornoway in 1986 and Portland in 1995. He served as chief crewman on the Jigsaw Project and helped set up the Den Helder SAR operation in the Netherlands in 2003. He began his career in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. “I signed up when I was 14 years and ten months and joined when I was just over 15,” he says. “I got in my first helicopter in 1967 and joined Bristow in 1976. I’ve served on all of Bristow’s SAR rescue units in European Operations.” Bond has more than 10,000 SAR hours and 1,100 rescues to his credit.
Past and current crews will attend the commemorative event. Members of the first crew include John Whale, Gary Williams, Ross Martin, Adrian Murray, Mike Birley, Chris Bond and Adrian Jeffs. Past and current crews include Dirk Geppert, John Grant, Paul Bentley, Jim Livitt, Keiran Murray Snr, Keiran Murray Jnr, Sam Ware, Martin Naylor, Dave Ellis, Mike Cockerill, Freidie Manson, Billy Deacon, Tony Turnbull, John Thomson, Mark Hughes, Josh Williams, Craig Sweeney, dele Okekenu, John McIntyre, Richard Tye, Roger Stringer, Simon Fraser, Graham Wotton, Ben Clarke, Roy Eggleston, Ginge Steabler, Rob Seal, Alec Aspden, Gary Forsyth, Jason Bibby, Kai Gjersvik, Mark Coupland, Terry Mooney, Donald McDermott, Gerald Flaws, Angus Goudie, Steve Jones, Don Robertson, Robin Atkinson, Scott Lobban, Bob Hoad, Erick Turfus, Bob Herbert, Chris Atkinson, Al Smith, Uel Webb, Lee Bailey, Simon Dobbs, Simon Smith, Chris Bizewski, David Routledge, John Meikle, Clark Broad, Smiler Grinney, Tony Campbell, John Bentley, Tricky Dane, Larry Slater, Georgie Munro, Peter Hutchinson, Jim Laurence, Alistair Colvin, Alec Walker, Eoin Harcus, Andy MacAlister, Norman Leask, Ian McDill, Rowan Greenwood, Paul Whyte, Chris Jackson, Gordon Mitchell, Gordon Rae, David Miller, Geoff Danielle, Ruben Collins, Glenn Oldbury, Shiner Wright, Peter Manson, Brian Southen and Dick Crocker.
Learn more about Bristow’s proud history at Sumburgh, in this special edition of Bristow World magazine.
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