Title: Emergency Helicopter Service
Title: All weather emergency service

Sea King at RAF Boulmer
Sea King at RAF Boulmer

  RAF COASTAL COMMAND 
Never could the phrase, 'when the going get's tough, the tough get going', be more aptly applied than to the emergency helicopter service provided by RAF Coastal Command. As for all of Britain's armed services, crew selection is based on high individual natural skills and aptitude necessary to do the job. Training is amongst the best in the world and performance and results come second to none.

The 'Sea King' helicopter, has had a long and distinguished service record. Though now somewhat long in the tooth, its performance was chosen to match the complex tasks and varied challenges of an exacting service requirement. Whilst it is expensive to maintain, its specification has not been bettered.

All-weather capability in terms of its usage over Lindisfarne is a term as much applied to the capability of the aircrew as to the Sea King. It is on record as having responded to calls for assistance in gales, fog and at night, conditions far beyond the flight and equipment specifications of the air ambulance. In addition to this it is occasionally required to respond in the event that the air-ambulance has been prioritised elsewhere.

 
TYPICAL MISSIONS IN RECENT YEARS

pointer Winching a fisherman to safety from a sinking boat
pointer Taking a sick tourist to hospital in a gale
pointer Taking a pregnant woman to hospital in a blizzard

pointer Taking off a seriously injured Islander at night
pointer Sea search for RAF fighter crew lost over the North Sea
pointer Standing by over motorists stranded on the Causeway

 

 OPERATION 'SAVE A TOURIST' 
Conducted in Sanctuary Close adjacent to the Manor House Hotel, an RAF Sea King helicopter awaits (left) the loading of its precious cargo before (right) onward transportation to Ashington hospital where the medical team are waiting.
Such is the response and turn-round time that there is no time to rush downstairs, setup and take pictures!

Sea King awaiting precious cargo Sea King taking off
 

  NOT FORGETTING THE LOCAL COAST GUARD! 
Ulike the air-ambulance, legislation does not limit RAF communications to the civilan air band. This enables two-way communication with the volunteer members of the Holy Island Coast Guard. This has a major benefit in that the coast guard are able to coordinate activities and act as a ground team. Main tasks for the team are the selection of the appropriate landing site, maintaining a safe exclusion area for bystanders, providing landing beacons at night and assistance to the paramedics. In this way the local coast guard are a key to the expedition and success of every mission.


THANK YOU COAST GUARD
THANK YOU RAF
THANK YOU TEAM!

THE GREAT NORTHUMBERLAND
AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne - home page Our accommodation pages Our information pages
Visit the webmaster