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Bristow Helicopters Limited Appoints Russell Torbet CBE to Director UK SAR

June 23, 2016

ABERDEEN, June 23, 2016 -- Bristow Helicopters Limited today announced the appointment of Russell Torbet CBE to director UK SAR effective August 1, 2016, responsible for overseeing the operation of the civilian search and rescue (SAR) service on behalf of HM Coastguard. Torbet replaces Samantha Willenbacher who has been promoted to Bristow Group’s regional director for the Americas Region.

Torbet joined Bristow in 2013 as project manager UK SAR, following a distinguished 32-year career in the Royal Air Force attaining the rank of Air Commodore. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List, holds a Master of Arts Degree in defense studies from King’s College London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Bristow Helicopters Director of Europe Caspian Region Alan Corbett said: “Russ has demonstrated tremendous leadership as project manager for UK SAR. He has successfully delivered key milestones of the project on time and within budget, and worked effectively with the Department for Transport, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and members of various government groups. Highly skilled and greatly experienced, Russ is respected by those that work with him.

“I would like to extend my best wishes to Sam for continued success in her new position at Bristow. Sam has played an invaluable role in the successful start of UK SAR, and she will be dearly missed by her colleagues in the UK.”

Bristow Helicopters Limited is operating the search and rescue helicopter service for the UK on behalf of HM Coastguard. The UK limited company was awarded the ten-year UK SAR contract by the Department for Transport in March 2013, representing a £1.9bn investment by the UK Government in the UK’s search and rescue helicopter service. By 2017 the service will be delivered from ten bases in all, strategically located close to areas of high SAR incident rates.

Media Contact:
Bristow Helicopters Communications
Telephone: 01224 806 600

About Bristow Helicopters Limited
Bristow Helicopters Limited (BHL) has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for over 50 years. Bristow Helicopters is the provider of Search and Rescue (SAR) services in the UK, having been awarded the Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland and the UK SAR contract. Since 1971, Bristow has flown more than 56,000 SAR operational hours and conducted over 17,500 SAR missions, during which more than 8,400 people have been rescued by our crews and helicopters worldwide.

BHL is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc. For more information on Bristow’s operations, please visit