Coastguard launches new state-of-the-art aircraft

PUBLISHED: 07:01 09 February 2020

One of the MCA's new search and rescue planes. Picture: Claire Hartley

One of the MCA's new search and rescue planes. Picture: Claire Hartley

CLAIRE HARTLEY

Coastguards carrying out rescue missions in Lyme Bay can now call on two new state-of-the-art aircraft to help in any search.

Equipped with multiple sensors, the planes can detect a person in the water up to 40 miles away and can drop emergency locator beacons, communications and first aid equipment to those in danger.

Specially trained pilots and their crew will be on stand-by to respond to emergency situations around-the-clock - conducting wide-area searches around the UK coastline.

Operating out of Doncaster-Sheffield Airport, the new aircraft will also support HM Coastguard's counter pollution activities by scoping out pollution in UK waters.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said: "From pulling fisherman from treacherous waters, to hoisting people to safety from the most remote locations in the country, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) rescue teams carry out vital lifesaving work every day.

"The ground-breaking new technology aboard these new aircraft will be an invaluable asset in time critical rescue situations, ensuring our rescue teams are better equipped than ever to save lives."

On average the current fleet of search and rescue helicopters (SARH) respond to seven callouts a day, with more than 1,600 people rescued around the UK last year.

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