Coastguard and Berwick RNLI team up

Berwick RNLI and HM Coastguard Search and Rescue took part in a joint air-sea rescue training exercise on Sunday.

Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 2:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 2:44 pm
Berwick RNLI crew learn about HM Coastguard's new helicopter.

Berwick RNLI’s Robert Frost, arranged the exercise with the Prestwick-based teamand their new AW189 helicopter.

Robert said: “It was a really worthwhile exercise as we got to learn about the new helicopter and how she operates. The down draft and working heights are different from what we are used to with the RAF Sea King helicopter.”

He added: “It was very important that we got hands-on experience of the effects of this helicopter, so we know what to expect if ever working with them on a real rescue.”

Both Berwick’s RNLI and HM Coastguard crews were delighted to meet the helicopter crew, Captain Craig Sweeney, co-pilot Jonny Laidlaw, winch operator Dave Rigg and Winchman Mike Henson, both paramedics.

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The people walking along the promenade on the beautiful sunny afternoon stood in awe whilst watching the helicopter land at the north end of Spittal promenade in the centre of the football playing area.

The helicopter crew showed the lifeboat crew around the helicopter, learning how difficult it can be to sometimes to compete with the sea and weather conditions to rescue a casualty and winch them into the safety of the helicopter.

Both Berwick lifeboats were then launched, Robert Frost was at the helm of the all-weather lifeboat as Coxswain, whilst the inshore lifeboat was taken to sea by Helmsmen, Michael Avril, Robbie Skelly and Michael Percy for a brief exercise practising highline transfers.