Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Helicopter Operations

One of our Blog readers has sent us some video clips of the Coastguard Rescue helicopter busy at a medical incident on Swanage beach last week.

Andy Worboys, who took the videos from outside the Spa Beach Huts says "We holiday in Swanage every year all the way from North Yorkshire, have done so for our anniversary every year since 1985, and it's worth every one of the 340 miles to get here, not least because of it's local people who live and work and obviously love this wonderful town. Thank you all."

Thank you Andy, for coming to see us, for your kind words and for the clips.

In Video 1, the winchman is dropped from the helicopter into the Swanage RNLI Inshore lifeboat, and brought into the beach from there.  This avoids blowing sand everywhere by hovering above the beach itself.

In Video 2, the helicopter lowers a stretcher in preparation for a casualty lift. Again the ILB stands by to recover it, but the helo crew drop it precisely and accurately at the waters edge.  Although it's difficult to see, the CG team had cleared a large area of beach by this time to facilitate this operation. Our own stretcher is capable of being winched, but where possible the helicopter crew prefer to use their own.

In Video 3, the helicopter has landed, and the casualty has been secured and moved a few hundred yards by road for helicopter transfer to hospital. It's much easier to load a stretcher when the helo is stationary and on the ground, rather than winching it in whilst hovering. We see the helicopter take off and head for Dorchester.

We must remind onlookers that helicopter operations can be dangerous, and the down draught from being too close can knock people off their feet as well as sending sand, grit, dirt and other shot media into faces and eyes.  When we ask you to keep back, it is for your safety as well as the safety of those conducting the operation.

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