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Bristow Marks First Anniversary of Search and Rescue in Lydd

August 16, 2016

Bristow Helicopters Limited has reached the first anniversary of delivering search and rescue (SAR) operations on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, from the base at London Ashford Airport.

The HM Coastguard service became operational at Lydd on 14 August 2015 and statistics for the base's first year, show that the crew at Lydd responded to over 180 taskings from the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC).

Chief Pilot at Lydd SAR, Captain Neil Robertson, said: “It has been an enormous privilege to deliver such an important service over the past year and we look forward to delivering many more. It has been an incredible 12 months with some really challenging taskings. I’d like to thank the surrounding communities for making us feel so welcome.

"Many of the crew, myself included, spent a number of years here while serving at RAF Wattisham. It's great to be home and we look forward to moving into our permanent base once it's ready."

Earlier this year the Department for Transport confirmed that Lydd would be the permanent base for the service in the south east. Plans are now underway to build a new search and rescue facility at the airport.

Russell Torbet, newly appointed director of UK SAR, said: “The crews at Lydd have done a tremendous job over the past year. RAF Wattisham set the bar incredibly high and I’m delighted to see that our crews are carrying on that legacy.

“We are extremely proud to be delivering this long running and vital service and we hope that the work of our crews is of value to the communities they serve.”

In 2013 Bristow won the UK Government national contract to deliver SAR operations on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). Seven of 10 strategically located bases have taken over the helicopter SAR responsibility from the military in a phased approach throughout 2015 and 2016. The remaining three, two of which are already operated by Bristow, are set to become part of the new contract in 2017.

For further information please contact the Bristow Helicopters Communication team on
01224 806602 or via

About HM Coastguard
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is a frontline delivery and emergency response organisation which is part of the Department for Transport.

Part of the MCA is HM Coastguard, which provides a UK-wide maritime emergency prevention and response capability which responds to calls for help by radio, satellite or the 999 service and coordinates maritime search and rescue (SAR) within the UK SAR region. The agency helps approximately 25,000 people each year with 21,000 incidents coordinated by its rescue centres.

Search and rescue helicopter statistics

Bristow Search & Rescue
Bristow Helicopters Ltd is the leading provider of helicopter search and rescue (SAR) services in the UK, having been awarded the UK SAR contract and the Gap SAR contract for Northern Scotland.
Bristow Helicopters has a long history of providing world class SAR services in the UK, beginning in 1971. Bristow Helicopters has flown more than 44,000 SAR operational hours in the UK and conducted over 15,000 SAR missions, during which more than 7,000 people have been rescued by our crews and helicopters. We also currently deliver SAR operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Russia and Trinidad. For more information please visit:

Bristow Helicopters Limited
Established by London born Alan Bristow, Bristow Helicopters Ltd. has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for nearly 60 years. The company is also the largest provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry in Australia and Nigeria, where it has operated for over 50 years.

Bristow has a long history in the helicopter services industry, starting with Bristow Helicopters Ltd. in the U.K. and Offshore Logistics, Inc. in the U.S., founded in 1955 and 1969 respectively. In 1996 Offshore Logistics purchased a stake in Bristow Helicopters Ltd, and the company was rebranded as Bristow Group Inc. in 2006. UK-based Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc.