Bristow Helicopters Limited has reached the first anniversary of delivering search and rescue (SAR) helicopter operations on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, from the base at Cornwall Airport Newquay.
The HM Coastguard service became operational at Newquay on 1 January 2016, and since then the crews have responded to over 300 taskings from the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC).
Chief Pilot, Captain Mark Coupland said: “It’s been a great first year operating out of our new purpose built facility here in Newquay. We’ve had the privilege of delivering the lifesaving service to people on land and at sea as far away as the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly and over 150 miles to the South West.
“Having spent a number of years serving either on 771 Squadron based at RNAS Culdrose or at RAF Chivenor, many of the personnel are familiar faces locally, and I’d like to thank the surrounding communities for their continued support as we’ve transitioned to the new HM Coastguard service. We’re looking forward to becoming an even more integral part of the community in the years to come.”
Bristow crews are delivering the UK SAR helicopter service on behalf of HM Coastguard with state-of-the-art helicopters, equipped with the latest search and rescue technology including night vision, mission management and increased onboard medical capabilities.
Russell Torbet, Director of UK SAR, said: “I’m extremely proud of our crews in Newquay, who in the first 12 months of service, have successfully maintained the incredibly high standards set by 771 SAR Squadron. SAR is a vital public service that requires an unfaltering level of dedication and commitment, and I’d like to congratulate everyone at the base for their part in getting us to this important milestone.”
In 2013 Bristow won the UK Government national contract to deliver SAR operations on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). Seven of 10 strategically located bases have taken over the helicopter SAR responsibility from the military in a phased approach throughout 2015 and 2016. The remaining three, two of which are already operated by Bristow, are set to become part of the new contract in 2017.
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