Blue Peter visits 771 NAS Culdrose
The aircrew of the Royal Navy’s Search and Rescue Squadron briefed a new face in their crew room when Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton joined their flying team over the weekend.
No stranger to gruelling and challenging experiences, Helen visited Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose to try on an Aircrewman’s role for size. Fully kitted out in flying overalls, Squadron badges, helmet and life jacket, the BBC presenter took to the skies with 771 Naval Air Squadron and tried her hand at Search and Rescue.
After being taught the basics of flying and navigation, the instructors had enough confidence in Helen to take her out in one of the Squadron’s famous red and grey helicopters for a search and rescue training mission. The 4 man crew and Helen were scrambled to airlift a casualty who had been pulled out of the water by the RNLI. When the team arrived ‘on scene’, Helen was then winched down onto the lifeboat where she was ‘tasked’ to recover the 'casualty' and help the crew to ‘rescue’ the individual by winching him up into the helicopter cockpit.
771 Naval Air Squadron were delighted to host Helen, Lt Cdr Rob Suckling said: "Helen was a great student and a fast learner. She took the debrief points on board from the first day and I was happy for her to be supervised carrying out a boat winch on day two. I think she got a real insight into the technical aspects of the winchman's job and experienced a little of it first-hand."
The programme will be shown on Blue Peter, at 17:45 on Thursday 12th April on the CBBC Channel and at 16:30 on Friday 13th April on BBC1.