Tower rescue crew receives award

Published:  16 October, 2018

HM Coastguard’s search and rescue (SAR) helicopter crew from Lee-on-Solent, on the south Hampshire coast, has received an industry award recognising the successful recovery of a group of visitors trapped on landmark tower overlooking the English Channel.

Captain Simon Tye, Captain Simon Hoare, Winch Operator Chris Hughes, and Winchman Paramedic Alf Kitwood received the Goodrich Hoist Award at Helitech International 2018, one of the world’s largest helicopter aviation events, in Amsterdam on Monday.

They received widespread public recognition in September 2017, after being called out to rescue 13 visitors – including an eight-month-old baby – who were trapped when the rotating viewing platform on the Jurassic Skyline tower in Dorset became stuck, 180ft off the ground.

In one of the most technically challenging SAR missions in recent memory the crew, flying in a Leonardo AW189 SAR aircraft, airlifted the visitors to safety in small groups, as part of a multi-agency response following the failure of the tower’s systems.

Bristow Helicopters Limited operates the UK SAR helicopter service on behalf of HM Coastguard with state-of-the-art helicopters, equipped with the latest search and rescue technology including night vision, mission management and increased onboard medical capabilities.

Damien Oliver, Aviation Programme director at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: ‘This mission demonstrates the wide range of tasks our helicopters are asked to support. Far from the traditional view, the public may have of the work of our search and rescue helicopters, this unique mission showed quite how versatile Her Majesty’s Coastguard helicopter service is.’ 

Nick Horst, Chief Crewman at Lee-on-Solent, who nominated his colleagues for the award, said: ‘There was a very high degree of skill involved in this rescue, it was evident very early on that this was going to be no routine call-out.

‘The team had to cope with a very high hover and winching height, in fading light, for almost four hours. In a hugely challenging set of circumstances, including more than two hours of winching time, the crew successfully brought the group of very frightened people safely back to land.

‘Their trust in each other, the aircraft and equipment – in particular, the winch – are a superb example of their dedication to achieving the incredibly high standards which UKSAR crews across the country strive to meet.’

The Lee-on-Solent base on the Hampshire coast is operated by a team of 31 and was the first to bring the new AW189 aircraft into service for HM Coastguard in 2017. The Leonardo AW189 is the latest generation helicopter in its category, designed to meet long-range, high endurance requirements for search and rescue missions in the most demanding operational and environmental conditions.

Bristow began operating the UK’s SAR helicopter service on behalf of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) in 2015, after winning the tender in 2013. 

  • Operation Florian

Sign up: eMagazine & eNewsletter

The latest issues in your inbox.

Company Profiles

Renka´s Fire Engine No. 1

Firefighting, fast, safe, everywhere. Michael Renka GmbH, based in Germany, is a manufacturer of firefighting vehicles, pumps and rescue equipment.

Waterax - We move water

Trusted by wildland firefighters around the world, WATERAX sets the industry standard by developing innovative, portable fire pumps and water-handling equipment designed to withstand demanding applications and rugged environments.

Big Water Flow for Industrial and Municipal Firefighting Applications

Protecting the lives of the public and firefighters while limiting the structural damage caused in large scale fires is our primary mission

We are committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way

We have a unique mix of capability and culture that we refer to as 3M Science and we strive to develop products that improve people’s daily lives in a multitude of ways.

HazSim - Bringing situational HazMat training to life

HazSim, LLC provides innovative simulation training to ensure your team works safely and effectively. HazSim Pro simulation equipment is in use by hundreds of fire departments, training schools, industrial fire teams, and private trainers across the US, Canada and further afield as well as the US Army.

The ultimate in innovation, quality and service

For 60 years Lehavot has been delivering the world’s most advanced fire detection and suppression automatic systems

Advancing rescue technology

The specialist supplier of quality PPE and Rescue Equipment to Emergency Services.

Revolutionizing fire fighting foam technology

The one-stop resource for fire fighting foam concentrates and custom-designed foam suppression systems hardware.

Trust the best, let us be your foam solution

AUXQUIMIA is a Spanish company whose main activity is the design, manufacture and commercialization of firefighting foam concentrates.

Williams Fire & Hazard Control offers a full line of specialized fire response equipment for oil and gas platforms

From storage tanks and pipeline emergencies to offshore platforms and vessels at sea, Williams' response personnel and specialized equipment quickly address adverse fire emergencies.

The leader in truck-mounted hydraulic platforms

Our mission is to provide the best and the safest solution to professionals that work at height.

If you want quality, you want Zico

Since its inception Ziamatic Corp has provided the men and women of the fire service with products designed to make their jobs safer and easier.

The independent alternative

Dafo Fomtec AB is a privately owned company with head office in Stockholm Sweden and manufacturing in Helsingborg in the south of Sweden.

Calendar