Royal Navy Sea Kings In Final Farewell Flypast
As of the New Year, Britain no longer has search and rescue cover provided by the military.
In May, the Royal Air Force ceased Search and Rescue (SAR) operations, with more than 74 years of history coming to an end with the closure of the last RAF SAR base in the UK.
New Year's Eve, meanwhile, saw the Royal Navy's Sea Kings fly for the final time - after 44 years of lifesaving operations.
Many have expressed sadness at saying farewell to forces SAR cover - but now, if you live in Scotland, you'll have one more chance to do so, on Thursday January 14th.
The crew of HMS Gannet are set to conduct a flypast over their old patrol areas to say a final goodbye. Take a look at the route below:
The tour will last four and a half hours, depending on weather, and is set to include three Sea Kings, which have become synonymous with Royal Navy SAR in past years. Commanding Officer of HMS Gannet, Lieutenant Commander Charlie Fuller, said:
“Over the years HMS Gannet has enjoyed immense support from communities the length and breadth of Scotland.
“The fly-past is our chance to say farewell and hopefully people will come out to wave goodbye too.”
During 2015 HMS Gannet was the busiest search and rescue flight in the UK, completing over 300 rescues.
The unit also holds the record for the most rescues in one year when, in 2009, HMS Gannet conducted 447 rescues around the country.
On December 30 they performed a major rescue when they assisted 12 people trapped on a bus caught in floodwater near Girvan.
The crew avoided 120ft trees and racing currents to rescue the stricken passengers, working until having to stop because of low fuel - with a final two persons were recovered by boat.
Two days later, on January 1st, the unit handed the rescue baton to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency contractor Bristow Helicopters, bringing to an end military SAR.
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