Gannet SAR drop in on Glasgow’s ‘Death Star’
Fron Navy News
Fliers from HMS Gannet ‘christened’ the helipad at Glasgow’s new Southern General Hospital, dropping off patients for the first time.
Rescue 177 from the Prestwick unit safely landed on the pad – perched 14 storeys up on the futuristic-looking hospital building which locals have branded the Death Star.
Lt Cdr Charlie Fuller sets down Rescue 177 14 storeys above the ground at the stunning helipad atop Glasgow’s new Southern General Hospital – dubbed the Death Star by locals – the first time the facility has been used.
After several training sorties, the distinctive red-and-grey Sea King Mk5 from HMS Gannet at Prestwick, finally got the shout to recover injured casualties and land them on the metallic gantry for real – the patients thankfully were not seriously hurt.
The ‘christening’ of the pad came at the end of an exceptionally-busy period for the unit and its three rescue helicopters, which provide vital cover for the west of Scotland, north-west England and Northern Ireland.
Crews clocked up more than 220 sorties during the two-week period of the latest Joint Warrior exercise – the biggest war games in western Europe this year – when the Sea Kings flew 34 missions delivering personnel and equipment to participating ships and units.
“At the same time as hosting Joint Warrior, Gannet remains the busiest SAR base in the UK by some way,” said Lt Cdr Fuller, Gannet’s CO.
“We’d just achieved our 100th SAR job this year as the exercise came to a close and yesterday achieved four rescues in one day, over a period lasting almost ten hours.”