Coastguard rescue helicopter `India Juliet” completed her 4000 search and rescue flight today and was piloted by Captain John Rooney with co pilot John Bell, John Spencer was winch operator with winchman Alf Kitwood.
The rescue of two canoeists took place in the central Solent after the canoeists were seen to be in difficulties from the shore by a member of the public earlier this afternoon. The alarm was raised by telephone to Solent Coastguard who sent the well known helicopter to the scene.
The helicopter arrived on scene within four minutes and winched the two teenage boys out of the water and transported them to the helicopter base where they were medically assessed and found to be fit. The boys were then handed into the care of the Police.
The Coastguard rescue helicopter Rescue is a Sikorsky S61N aircraft especially configured for search and rescue. She took over search and rescue duties in the Solent from rescue helicopter `Lima Charlie in 1989. The Coastguard search and rescue contract was awarded to Bristow Helicopters in 1988.
`India Juliet” is due to retire in 2007 when the Bristows contract expires, the replacement helicopter will be the lighter and faster Agusta – Westland AW139 medium twin engine machine.
© Images of India Juliet and RNLI Rescue Display in Yarmouth August 2006 available from Island Lifestyles 2020 on www.islandlifestyles2020.com or via search through following pages http://islandlifestyles2020.com/lightbox/index.php category=gallery/Events/yarmouthweek06/11_fri&start=120
Source © Mark Clark
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