SAR at Lydd, European orders, more Chinooks, EVTOL concept
The last purpose-built HM Coastguard helicopter base opened on 12 July at Lydd, Kent. It is one of ten located countrywide close to areas where search and rescue incident rates are high, joining Lee-on-solent, Newquay, Humberside, Caernarfon, St Athan, Prestwick, Inverness, Sumburgh and Stornoway. Bristow Helicopters operates the UK’S SAR service on behalf of the Coastguard under a ten-year year contract awarded in 2013.
Two Leonardo AW189S are based at Lydd, serving the south and south-east coasts and the English Channel. The Lydd base is led by Chief Pilot Captain Neil Robertson, a former RAF Sea King pilot whose seventeen-year military career saw him serve as Flight Commander at RAF Wattisham’s SAR unit. “Our team’s focus is always on bringing people home safely from a search and rescue operation,” he says. “During day-to-day operations and throughout our year-round training programme, this new base ensures that we have the facilities and support we need to be able to maintain the incredibly high standards the UK SAR service is renowned for.”
Two AW189S are now based at Lydd, the last of ten SAR bases operated by Bristow