Great to see the photos of everyone enjoying the wonderful winter weather. It is even icy on the East Coast at sea – level. I am unfortunately restricted to low level walking just now but my operation is this week so hopefully after this will be the slow process of recovery which may take a good part of the winter. The cold wind was bitter yesterday even at sea – level but the views of the snowy coast and the mountains with the snow down to sea level was great and nearly every day just now there is a lovely sunset. The Moray Trail goes past my village and I walk that most days, it is a wonderful addition to the area and the path from Burghead to Hopeman is outstanding and a great addition to this special area. It is well used by all and a great asset to the area.
It was good to see that “Grough” reported that in the Lake District that the Mountain Rescue Teams had a preview of the new helicopters Sikorsky S-92 and Agusta Westland AW189. It will be interesting times ahead but great to see the new aircraft and learn about the differences from the Sea King. Some members from the Lake District Mountain Rescue gad a good look and some training with the new aircraft. Any change of aircraft needs plenty of work by all Agencies especially in an SAR environment. It is a big aircraft with many improved features and the downdraft will take a bit of getting used to by all. I wish it well.
“Volunteer mountain rescuers from the Lake District had their first look at the new privatised search and rescue helicopters that will support them from spring.
The Bristow-owned aircraft will replace RAF and Royal Navy Sea Kings in mountain rescue operations across the UK.
The £1.6bn contract was awarded to the Texas-based company almost two years ago and will run for 13 years. The new helicopters, in Coastguard livery, will be operated under the responsibility of the Department for Transport, through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
The service will use Sikorsky S-92 and Agusta Westland AW189 helicopters in place of the ageing Sea Kings that have been the mainstay of search and rescue operations in the UK for decades.
Sixty rescuers from 10 different teams took part in the training exercise on Saturday to familiarise themselves with one of the new aircraft.”