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Scout Troop Visit Search and Rescue Helicopter Base

March 01, 2016

Members of the Vale Explorer Scout Unit took part in an exciting visit to the HM Coastguard Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter base at St Athan in Wales last week.

The 26-strong group received a guided tour of the base from members of the St Athan SAR crew; Martin Hawkes, Avionic Engineer, Mike Ratcliffe, apprentice engineer and Sam Ware, Duty Captain.

The troop were also able to look around the two AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters, both of which are fitted with the latest search and rescue technology including night vision, mission management and increased onboard medical capabilities.

Martin said: “It was a great pleasure to have the Vale Explorer Scout Unit visit us here at our St Athan base. The Scouts were an enthusiastic group, keen to learn more about our work. They asked lots of great questions about our taskings and had the opportunity to talk to other members of our SAR crew, including the Chief Pilot.”

On their tour the Scouts also learned about how the base is run and its sustainable features which include PV solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems.

The base is home to two state-of-the-art SAR helicopters, operated by Bristow Helicopters Ltd, their crew and support team. The base became fully operational last year when Bristow Helicopters Ltd took over delivery of helicopter Search and Rescue services throughout the UK on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

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

About Bristow Helicopters Ltd
Bristow Helicopters Ltd is the leading provider of helicopter search and rescue (SAR) services in the UK, on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard, 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 and 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. For more information on Bristow’s SAR operations, please visit

Bristow Helicopters Ltd. has served the offshore oil transport industry in the UK for nearly 60 years. Bristow Helicopters Ltd. is an affiliated company of Bristow Group Inc.

About Bristow Group
Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the Company's website at