Sept 1978 – Dutch Atlantic aircraft crashed in the sea off Colonsay . All crew recovered safely.


14 September 1978 – A Dutch surveillance Breguet crashed in the sea west of Scotland after the explosion of the right RollsRoyce engine.

Everyone was okay and they were all rescued by helicopter. The sea luckily was flat calm and there is a photo of the crew on the wing waiting for Rescue. I was a member of the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team at the time. Kinloss and Leuchars MRT we were asked to search the coast for “sensitive stuff”

It was one of these. Call outs I will never forget. I love the Islands so many have been fleeting visits so I am trying to spend a bit more time on them. We met many characters on the Island.

1978 Sept 17 – Isle of Colonsay and Oransay A / Dutch Military Atlantic aircraft crashed in the sea and stayed afloat for a while just off the Islands. Some of the wreckage washed ashore and all the crew survived. When we arrived by Wessex helicopter we had no communications and searched most of the day and I sure we lived in a Cave one night and much of the wreckage washed ashore vanished in true Island Fashion. It was very like the film “Whisky Galore” It was very difficult trying to get some of the sensitive items from the locals! They had a few dinghies, life jackets and other bits and pieces! A bit of barter and trading was called for was called for? The locals did well on dinghy, and life jackets spoils of the sea . Plus a few bottles of whisky for there trouble. We did locate some classified material that was handed over to the Military police.

One the second day after bout search we just made the pub it shut at 2200 but managed a few beers but no food? We had a good night with the locals. I wonder if anyone has any photos of this!

I know there is a photo of the crew waiting at sea on the wing for pick up. It’s in Moravia at Kinloss I will try and get a copy.

From my pal Nick Sharpe a Guide in Canada “RAF Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team also deployed to the west coast of Jura and did the same thing. “Spent a night in a huge cave sleeping on a soft bed of goat droppings!“

Comment / Comment Don Shanks – “If I remember right we were shocked that we didn,t get a lock-in…however we managed to cadge a lift back to our billet in a cowshed on the back of a council lorry..happy days”

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Aircraft incidents, Articles, Friends, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, People, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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