Minister says Bristow will deliver first-class service but critics air doubts about US company’s takeover from RAF and navy The transfer of the UK’s search and rescue service from the military to a Texas-based helicopter company has been criticised by residents of coastal communities, politicians from all the main parties and rescue experts. From 2016 Bristow Helicopters, part of the global Bristow Group, will take over the helicopter search and rescue (SAR) service from the RAF and navy.
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UK search and rescue sell-off hits turbulence
A chopper that was tasked for anti-submarine operations is now deployed ‘for the greater good’ In 1975, the sinking of the cargo ship the Lovat with the loss of 11 lives in rough seas off Penzance raised questions about the effectiveness of Whirlwind helicopters for use in sea rescues. The Guardian leader column below was published in the aftermath of the Lovat tragedy and echoed the growing call for the more powerful Sea King helicopters to be used instead.
1975: Sea King helicopter heralds new era in search and rescue
Concern and disappointment after government announces Texas-based search and rescue firm will replace RAF and navy The rescue at the weekend was typically swift and professional. An angler had been swept off the rocks at Trewarvas Point near Helston in Cornwall and, without help, would have been dead within minutes in the surging sea.
Search and rescue contract loss angers UK coastal residents