Bristow appoints new UK SAR leader

Bristow appoints new UK SAR leader 28 Jun, 16, Source: Bristow

Bristow Helicopters Limited today announced the appointment of Russell Torbet CBE to director UK SAR effective August 1, 2016, responsible for overseeing the operation of the civilian search and rescue (SAR) service on behalf of HM Coastguard. Torbet replaces Samantha Willenbacher who has been promoted to Bristow Group’s regional director for the Americas Region.

Torbet joined Bristow in 2013 as project manager UK SAR, following a distinguished 32-year career in the Royal Air Force attaining the rank of Air Commodore. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List, holds a Master of Arts Degree in defense studies from King’s College London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Bristow Helicopters Director of Europe Caspian Region Alan Corbett said: “Russ has demonstrated tremendous leadership as project manager for UK SAR. He has successfully delivered key milestones of the project on time and within budget, and worked effectively with the Department for Transport, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and members of various government groups. Highly skilled and greatly experienced, Russ is respected by those that work with him.

“I would like to extend my best wishes to Sam for continued success in her new position at Bristow. Sam has played an invaluable role in the successful start of UK SAR, and she will be dearly missed by her colleagues in the UK.”

Bristow Helicopters Limited is operating the search and rescue helicopter service for the UK on behalf of HM Coastguard. The UK limited company was awarded the ten-year UK SAR contract by the Department for Transport in March 2013, representing a £1.9bn investment by the UK Government in the UK’s search and rescue helicopter service. By 2017 the service will be delivered from ten bases in all, strategically located close to areas of high SAR incident rates.

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