PRIVATE UK search and rescue

  carver 13:48 PM 26 Mar 13
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I have to wonder just how this will work enter link description here because it isn't as though it can be run like the railways or a new motorway.

What happens if half way through the year they have had to attend more incidents than planned and no more money for fuel. and the personnel flying the helicopters will be civilians.

Your boat is sinking and the message you get is because the personnel flying the helicopters are civilians on the grounds of health and safety it's too dangerous to fly.

In the article it states that the helicopters will have state of the art equipment to help with the rescues, will this include a bank card machine to take payment as they rescue you.

  fourm member 14:15 PM 26 Mar 13

I don't see anything about any change in the way the service is paid for.

The age of the existing equipment means a change had to be made.

The current search and rescue service seems to be something that just growed. In the 1980s, a friend of mine was on SAR as a navigator. He said, rescue missions were a good alternative to training.

Much better to pick a real person that have to collect a bale of straw.

Clearly, the expansion of leisure activities means the demand has risen and it has had to become a full-time service. That means the SAR qualified staff aren't available to go off to pick up downed airmen in a war zone.

The other thing my friend said was that most pilots quit soon after finishing their SAR stint because normal flying didn't satisfy them after the buzz.

  wiz-king 14:16 PM 26 Mar 13

Better get you insurance up to date, theres bound to be a get some money for this service clause in it.

  Woolwell 14:49 PM 26 Mar 13

Having been involved in helo SAR, albeit many years ago, I have a view on this.

SAR flying used to be a good role for aircrew away from other operational duties and normally meant that they could spend time at home with their families too. Privatisation/civilisation of the SAR will take away this type of role. The SAR crew around UK were originally established to pick up "downed" military aircrew. That role has largely gone. All RN helo aircrew are SAR qualified. So not being available for war zone is incorrect.

The new aircraft will be significantly better. The aircrew will almost certainly consist of ex military as are most of the coastguard helo crews now. The new service replaces the coastguard helos as well as the military ones.

The question about money and time and half way through the year could just as well be applied to the fire service, RNLI or any emergency service. Military aircrew are just as concerned about their safety as civilians and I expect that in future the civilian aircrew will be collecting bravery awards.

Where I have a problem with this is in the choice of the new bases. I think that having just Lee-on-Solent and Manston on the south coast is a mistake and Portland should be kept open. The same could be said for some of the other bases.

  Cymro. 15:04 PM 26 Mar 13

I suppose what we have to ask ourselves is would we prefer to be rescued by an American civilian organisation or a British military one. I know which one I would choose but if in the very unlikely event that I ever needed rescuing then I would be just glad of the help no matter who it was.

  Bing.alau 15:06 PM 26 Mar 13

I expect it is all to do with the downsizing of the armed forces.

  Woolwell 15:16 PM 26 Mar 13

It's interesting that it is referred to as an American civilian firm. Bristow's was originally British. The firm operates in UK already. I would be surprised if many of the crew are not ex UK military as are many of the coastguard crews. I don't think that it greatly matters who is flying the aircraft. Where they are based may be of greater importance. The Sea King has reached the end of its life. Some of them are 40 years old.

  morddwyd 17:13 PM 26 Mar 13

I go back to when it was called ASR (Air Sea Rescue). We managed perfectly well with Shackletons, Sycamores and Dragonflys (and Lancasters before that, but I don't go back that far!).

Still a couple of dozen PBYs (Catalinas) still flying. Land on the water, pick them up, and take off again along the trough. If it's too rough then taxy home (I think the record is 100 miles+).

Anyway, any aeroplane that doesn't kill people is a waste of resources, and one that actually saves people is being grossly misused!

  Quickbeam 17:16 PM 26 Mar 13

Are you a Yankie redneck this week?

  fourm member 18:47 PM 26 Mar 13

Thinking about the other thread going on now concerning young drivers leads me to suggest that there is a difference between being SAR qualified and SAR experienced.

My point was that using the military for civilian SAR started out as an informal thing. 'We've got a helicopter. We need to train to pick up people. We'll help if you need a climber lifted off a mountain.'

At some point, it became a full-time dedicated service.

I think the simple way to look at it is to pretend there is no SAR service but one is required. Would anyone suggest using the military was the way to go?

  john bunyan 18:54 PM 26 Mar 13

fourm member

"Would anyone suggest using the military was the way to go?

Maybe not - eg the RNLI. But the military need the same capability as was seen in the Falklands with the Welsh Guards disaster, and use a similar technique for operations where landing is impractical. It is a bit like using military hospitals for civilians if there is capacity. However the decision is made. Perhaps it could have been possible for a much reduced military component for training purposes.

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