RAF Valley busiest search and rescue unit in 2013


Tomos Hughes

RAF Valley was the busiest search and rescue helicopter unit in the UK during 2013.

For the second year running, C Flight of Number 22 Squadron was the most called-out helicopter unit in the country, having been scrambled on 323 occasions, rescuing 298 people in the process.

RAF Valley’s Search and Rescue unit conducted rescues from maritime, coastal and land locations as well as performing a range of medical transfers, whereby seriously ill patients were moved by helicopter to receive care at a variety of specialist hospitals.

RAF Search and Rescue Force Commander, Group Captain Sara Mackmin, said: “The harsh, protracted winter that lasted from January through to early April saw C Flight complete not only a higher than average number of rescues, but was also accomplished in some of the worst weather conditions Snowdonia has seen for many years.

"While the bravery of the aircrews is key to saving lives in these challenging and dangerous environments, none of this would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of AugustaWestland and Babcocks - our contracted engineering partners – who have maintained an enviable aircraft serviceability record.”

2013 was equally busy for the other 5 RAF Search and Rescue helicopter Detached Flights and of the 3 RAF Mountain Rescue Teams, which are based at strategic locations around the United Kingdom.

Group Captain Mackmin added: “This has been a busy year for the rest of my Search and Rescue helicopter units and my RAF Mountain Rescue Teams.

"I’m incredibly proud of all the men and women under my command who go out by day and night, in all weathers, united with one common aim – the preservation of life.”

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