Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter reaches 500th SAR mission
The UK Coastguard helicopter based at Caernarfon has marked a significant milestone undertaking its 500th search and rescue mission earlier today (Tuesday 18 October).
The 500th mission, since it went live on 1 July 2015, was the rescue of a fallen walker at Tryfan in Snowdonia, Wales supported by the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team.
Captain Andy Pilliner, who flew the 500th mission today said: ‘This milestone is a testament to the standing of the entire UK Coastguard search and rescue (SAR) network. Though we never wish the need for our services to arise, we take great pride in helping being part of the network, helping people rest easy knowing that we’re on standby at the ready to assist as necessary.’
Co-Pilot Captain Kate Simmonds added: “It’s quite appropriate that we marked our 500th tasking on Tryfan as it’s what we call a hot-spot – somewhere we are regularly tasked to. Our location near mountains, sea and oil rigs means our taskings are varied, enabling us to maintain a broad skill-set. It’s certainly interesting and we expect it to continue to be as busy and diverse.”
Damien Oliver, Assistant Director of Aviation for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: ‘It is great to see the Caernarfon helicopter and their dedicated crews reach the 500-mission mark. The diversity of the tasks they have performed has seen them operate out to sea, up to the hills and mountains and everywhere in between, often in the most difficult conditions. We are enormously proud of their achievement.’