A great piece from Don Shanks on the Sea King Farewell – please share

 Radio Scotland did a great program on the Sea King, The program started with them reading out this email: From my great friend Don Shanks I asked him If could republish it on my Blog, which he has agreed to!
From Don Shanks. Dornie
Hearing Euan’s trailer for the upcoming feature on the Sea King I am prompted to write about my experience with this versatile helicopter:
As a former RAF MRT team leader and a current member of the ‘Kinloss Rescue’  I have witnessed first hand the amazing skill the crews operating this aircraft have shown in many hazardous rescues throughout the last 40 odd years.
Whether you were a benighted climber in Tower Gap on the Ben or an injured Buchan fisherman it would have been a welcome sight having a Sea King hovering overhead knowing your ordeal would soon be over.
I have been lucky to have been a part of this highly motivated and expert service and applaud the work done by the crews, not forgetting of course the engineers and operations staff behind the scenes  who do vital work keeping the helicopters prepared.
1978 Ben A Bhuird delpoy sea king
Myself and another Team Leader were the first to fly with this helicopter in Scotland when it  took over from the Whirlwind, it was like riding in a Rolls Royce after travelling in a Mini, the aircraft had not yet been fitted out with all the rescue equipment so was quite cavernous, we took off from RAF Lossiemouth and flew across to Skye then to the Ben and Creag Mheageah and over into the Cairngorms before returning to Lossiemouth all without the need to re-fuel !
Since some of the current aircrew have transferred to Bristows they will take with them a host of knowledge and experience so those involved in outdoor activities can rest assured that they will continue to do their very best for those in need.
Picture included is of Rescue 137 from D Flight 202 Sqn Lossiemouth below Buachalle Etive Mor in Glencoe. (in that sortie we clocked up 7 hrs flying training and included 2 rescues)
 Best Regards
Don Shanks

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
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