Over my many years in Mountain Rescue I was privileged to work with many Agencies. Yet I was always happy to work with the HM. Coastguards in my early days we had many exercises one I remember was on Hoy. There was in those days a worry that if the weather was too poor for helicopter or lifeboat assistance how would we get a casualty to the top of the cliff.
This was well before Health and Safety and the tradition gear of the Coastguard was flat hats and welly’s. I was amazed by their agility on the cliff and how well we got on together. These were great days where we met so many characters all locals who had all the knowledge and the contacts. They were so laid back but knew there patch.
We had several other Exercises all over Scotland and another on the huge cliffs of Cape Wrath on the far North. We learned from each other’s skills and got to know all our strengths and weakness.
As the incidents changed and over the years we worked a lot looking for local vulnerable people who had gone missing. The Coastguards were often involved and again we learned from each other.
When I worked for the last 5 years in the Aeronautical Rescue Co ordination Centre. (ARCC) at Kinloss. Here we organised the helicopter assistance across the UK. Every day we spoke to many Coastguards in the UK . The Coastguards were such a help especially in evacuating casualties from the Islands or remote areas . Day or night they would be there to help the helicopter crew with the casualty or finding a suitable landing site. It was always done without any fuss and a great asset to us.
So all the best to all the Coastguards nowadays they run the SAR helicopter. They are a great sight to see. I am lucky enough to live on a small village on the Coast and the Coastguard are a huge part of the village and have been for so many years.
Like all mainly volunteer agencies they get little praise for what they do yet are appreciate by all. Thank you all.