THE FLEET AIR ARM REMEMBERS THOSE LOST FROM HMS PORTLAND 10 YEARS AGO
THE FLEET AIR ARM PAUSES TO REMEMBER THOSE LOST FROM HMS PORTLAND 10 YEARS AGO
TODAY at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church of St Bartholomew at Yeovilton a service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving was held Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Portland 229 Flight Accident on 8 December 2004.
The congregation joined together to remember the 4 crew of the Lynx helicopter, 229 Flight from 815 Naval Air Squadron that crashed off the Lizard peninsula on the night of 8 December 2004.
The Service was conducted by the Revd Martin Evans RN and the reading given by the Commanding Officer of HMS Portland, Captain Simon Asquith OBE.
Sailors aboard HMS Portland also paid their respects to the darkest hour in their ship’s history. They joined together on the 7 December 2014 to remember the tragic loss of four of their family and a decade on today’s Lynx flight attached to the ship – 210, from the same squadron at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton – joined the ship’s company for the service.
“This tragic event is still very much remembered within the squadron and the ship,” said Lt Dave Fleming, 210 Flight Commander.
“I am proud to be Flight Commander in HMS Portland and be able to pay tribute with the ship’s company to the efforts of the crew of 229 Flight to save a crewmate.”
On Wednesday December 8 2004, Portland had been conducting an anti-submarine training exercise off the Cornish coast when her sister ship HMS Montrose reported a man overboard.
Portland scrambled her Lynx Mk3 to help the search effort in the darkness. About an hour later, it crashed into the sea off the Lizard, killing all four men aboard. The man overboard proved to be a false alarm.
“It is vital that we continue to remember those who pay the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country,” said Capt Simon Asquith, Portland’s Commanding Officer.
The memory of the four men also lives on in the form of the Osprey Trophy which recognises the greatest contribution made by one of the many Lynx flights 815 NAS operates to front-line operations.