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771 NAS SAR Sea King

Dead of Night Scramble for Culdrose SAR Sea King

Published: 09 May 2012

The Search and Rescue Squadron from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose conducted a daring rescue of an injured fisherman last night. 771 Naval Air Squadron were called out in the middle of the night to rescue the injured man in deteriorating weather conditions, over 100 miles away.

Lieutenant Commander Martin Ford, Aircraft Commander and fully trained paramedic said: “The rescue took place in waters that the French Search and Rescue service look after, but because of the weather in France, we were the only available unit to help. The weather here in Culdrose was getting worse and cloud was very low but we were able to do the job, and save the injured man, even though it was deep within our reach.”

The crew travelled out to the fishing boat that was requesting help, where Martin was winched down with a stretcher to attend the casualty. After providing the necessary treatment, they recovered him back to Derriford Hospital.

Lt Commander Ford continued, ”We delivered the casualty to Derriford and were back at Culdrose for just after 3 am where we continued to maintain our 24 hour standby. We had already been scrambled three times previously in the daytime, so it was a very busy day for 771 Squadron.”

On return the weather had got so bad, the aircraft had to conduct a full radar approach. On arrival at Culdrose the aircraft was quickly serviced by her dedicated engineers so that it was ready to deploy to any other rescues.

The crew who conducted the rescue were Flight Lieutenant John Owens (1st Pilot), Lieutenant Ali Andrews (2nd Pilot), Lt Commander

Martin Ford (Aircraft Commander), Lt Commander Andy Drodge (Radar Operator) and Corporal Justin Morgan (Royal Marine Aircrewman and Winch Operator).

As always the crews and engineers of 771 Naval Air Squadron stand ready 24 hours a day to respond to each and every emergency.


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