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Sunday morning SAR #2

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IMG_7105.jpg ZE611 for 611 Volunteer Gliding SquadronThumbnailsCarbine SA80ZE611 for 611 Volunteer Gliding SquadronThumbnailsCarbine SA80ZE611 for 611 Volunteer Gliding SquadronThumbnailsCarbine SA80ZE611 for 611 Volunteer Gliding SquadronThumbnailsCarbine SA80ZE611 for 611 Volunteer Gliding SquadronThumbnailsCarbine SA80ZE611 for 611 Volunteer Gliding SquadronThumbnailsCarbine SA80

The RAF and RN Sea King fleet dedicated to UK Search and Rescue are to be replaced by a civilian contract in the next few years. Some of these airframes, including the one seen here are barely fifteen years old, extremely young for helicopters, despite the high hours that military SAR helicopters fly. The civilian fleet replacing these will be 50% smaller, but still covering the same area. East Anglia will have increased response times as it will be covered from Manston, on the Kent coast. No provision has been made for a 'surge' requirement in response to a major incident, like the Cumbria floods of 2009 when large numbers of SAR helicopters were deployed from other areas.

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Gary Stedman
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