HM Coastguard Her Majesty s Coastguard
Her Majestys Coastguard (HMCG) was founded in 1822 with the purpose of protecting revenue against smugglers. By 1923, the emphasis had changed to protecting life, shipping and the environment around Britains 17000 km of coastline and within the UK Search and Rescue Region (UKSRR). Since 1998, HMCG has been part of the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency.|
In conjunction with this, Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse Board operate automated and a few manned lighthouses and lightships, whilst the Admiraltys Hydrographic Office provides maritime charts. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) provides a volunteer lifeboat service and other organisations can commit assets for rescue as and when required. HMCG provides controllers at a number of Rescue Coordination Centres (RCC), which also deal with onshore rescue. HMCG through the Maritime RCCs, is the competent authority for tasking the Search and Rescue helicopter service provided through UK Department for Transport funding. The aircraft are provided through a mixture of Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and from 1980 when minimum response times were established, civilian contractor units. Each are assigned a sector of the UKSRR as their primary area of operations.
RAF and Royal Navy Search and Rescue helicopters can be found under their respective organisations. Helicopters operated by civilian units on behalf of HMCG are listed here, with a note identifying the contractor organisation which owns and maintains them.
After a commercial competition awarded the replacement SAR service to Soteria - a consortium of CHC, Thales UK and the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Department for Transport abandoned the arrangement in Feb 2011 and has re-opened the bidding for contracts, partly as a result of pressure from the UK Treasury which has resulted in a decision to retire the Sea King SAR helicopters. There are several consortia bidding and the announcement of winner(s) was made in 2013. Not all existing SAR bases will remain open.
Following the cancellation of the first commercial contracting exercise for the whole of UKSRR, the Department for Transport announced in Feb 2012 that Bristow had won an interim GAP SAR contract and on 26 Mar 2013 that Bristow had been awarded a 10 year contract for the whole of the UKSRR from 1 Apr 2015 until 31 Mar 2026. Non-military SAR services had been provided to the DfT by CHC from 2007.
Bristow intends to achieve this using a mix of S-92 and AW189 helicopters, operating 2 airframes from each of 10 bases, with 2 airframes in reserve. There are 4 new SAR facilities at existing airfields (Humberside, Newquay, St.Athan and Caernarfon), 3 additions to existing facilities at SAR bases (Inverness, Manston and Prestwick) and operations will continue from 3 existing SAR facilities (Lee-on-Solent, Stornoway and Sumburgh). SAR operations will cease from Boulmer, Chivenor, Culdrose, Leconfield, Valley and Wattisham. This achieves a DfT objective of decoupling the provision of civilian SAR services from military bases - an ominous sign, giving the UK MoD and Treasury fewer reasons to keep bases open.
This still has not insulated the contract from commercial closures - Manston closed in May 2014, forcing a contract change which saw Bristow preparing a new operations base at Lydd, some 28nm SW of Manston. Note: The map above right, was prepared before the closure announcement.
Bristows approach is to provide some of its own staff and transfer in some crews and engineers from the military units previously providing the service, allowing the MoD to achieve further manpower reductions and cost savings. It also enables the UK military Sea King fleet to be retired, saving escalating maintenance costs and giving a clear view of future SAR provision.
Building, training and other preparations have been underway for some time and main contract services will begin transition in a phased manner from 1 Apr 2015, cutting over entirely from 1 Jan 2016. Finally, services under the GAP contract will transition in during 2017.
| News about this Organisation: |
|Danzer Modular Buildings for Lydd SAR Base, 02-Jun-15 : Kent, UK - UK SAR provider Bristow Helicopters have entered into a substantial agreement with AV Group for a series of steel modular buildings that will provide exclusive accommodation and welfare facilities for its new helicopter search and rescue (SAR) team, operating out of Lydd Airport in Kent.|
|UK SAR Base at Newquay Cornwall Airport, 20-May-15 : A traditional topping off ceremony took place yesterday (Tuesday, 19 May 2015) to mark the ongoing construction of the new search and rescue (SAR) helicopter base at Newquay Cornwall Airport.|
|Model||C/N||Built||ID / History|
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-712 ||1973||G-BBHL: HM Coastguard, owned and maintained by Bristow; 2003 based Storno ... |
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-713 ||1973||G-BBHM: ex N4033S,G-BBHM, 8Q-HUM. Owned and maintained by Bristow Helicop ... |
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-718 ||1973||G-BBVA: HM Coastguard operated by Bristow |
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-737 ||1974||G-BCLC: Owned and maintained by Bristow Helicopters on behalf of HM Coast ... |
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-751 ||1975||G-BDIJ: HM Coastguard, op by Bristow; 2003 based at Lee-on-Solent; Carri ... |
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-765 ||1976||G-BDOC: Bristow owned and operated G-BDOC was assigned to Sumburgh in Jan ... |
G-BDOC: attended the fire and explosions at the Piper Alpha platform
G-BDOC: Owned and maintained by Bristow Helicopters on behalf of HM Coast ...
G-BDOC: HM Coast Guard Oscar Charlie 1985-2007
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-752 ||1974||G-BIMU: S-61N Mk.II. ex N4042S, then VH-CRU, N4042S, VH-CRU, N8511Z, to G ... |
| S-61N Mk.II|| 61-822 ||1979||G-BPWB: ex EI-BHO, then G-BPWB, EI-BHO, to G-BPWB; Owned and maintained b ... |
| AW139|| 31203 ||2007||G-CGIJ: Operated for HM Coastguard by CHC Scotia, since April 2008. |
G-CGIJ: 23aug13 pictured (top) from MV_Normandie conducting a winching ex ...
| S-92A|| 92-0034 ||2006||G-CGMU: HM Coastguard op by CHC Scotia |
| S-92A|| 92-0051 ||2007||G-CGOC: HM Coastguard op by CHC Scotia |
| AW139|| 31209 ||2007||G-CGWB: Operated for HM Coastguard by CHC Scotia, since April 2008. |
| AW139|| 31571 ||2014||G-CIJW: HM Coast Guard, op by Bristow |
| AW139|| 31579 ||2014||G-CIJX: HM Coast Guard op by Bristow; 19dec14 pictured (top and middle) a ... |
G-CIJX: 17feb15 pictured (bot) at Norwich. Super Puma G-TIGE on backgroun ...
| S-92A|| 92-0166 ||2011||G-MCGA: HM Coastguard Jan13, operated by Bristow, Sumburgh/Stornoway |
G-MCGA: Feb13 Based at Inverness airport for line training before deliver ...
| S-92A|| 92-0167 ||2011||G-MCGB: HM Coastguard from Feb13, Bristow |
| S-92A|| 92-0169 ||2011||G-MCGC: HM Coast Guard op by Bristow; 12apr13 pictured (top) at Aberdeen, ... |
G-MCGC: 14apr14 pictured (bot) incoming to home base at Sumburgh
G-MCGC: 25apr14 Oscar Charlie Helicopter Naming Ceremony at Sumburgh, She ...
| S-92A|| 92-0171 ||2012||G-MCGD: May14 Search and rescue heli on Stornoway, Scotland |
G-MCGD: 11jan15 at Humberside
| S-92A|| 92-0214 ||2014||G-MCGE: HM Coast Guard op by Bristow |
G-MCGE: 09jan15 flying over Flamborough, East Yorkshire
G-MCGE: 10jan15 12:30 over skegness flown from humberside airport
G-MCGE: 9Jan15 Flying over Rotherham ex Humberside. 1245
G-MCGE: 24jan15 passed over Rotherham 0900 towards Sheffield, just rtn ov ...
G-MCGE: 02feb15 11:40hs Passed over Mablethorpe heading for Norwich airpo ...
| S-92A|| 92-0222 ||2013||G-MCGF: HM Coast Guard op by Bristow |
G-MCGF: 17mar15 SAR service launched ceremony at Inverness
| S-92A|| 92-0225 ||2013||G-MCGG: HM Coast Guard op by Bristow |
G-MCGG: 21nov14 Overflying RAF Leconfield
G-MCGG: 21nov14 Overflying Aberdeen on approach to Dyce
G-MCGG: 09jun15 at Stornoway
| S-92A|| 92-0234 ||2014||G-MCGH: HM Coast Guard, op by Bristow;
13jan15 pictured at Aberdeen |
| S-92A|| 92-0235 ||2014||G-MCGI: HM Coast Guard, op by Bristow;
13jan15 pictured at Aberdeen |
G-MCGI: 17mar15 SAR service launched ceremony at Inverness
| S-92A|| 92-0248 ||2014||G-MCGJ: HM Coast Guard, op by Bristow |
G-MCGJ: 07may15 at Caernarfon Aairport, Wales, UK. Arrived to home base f ...
| S-92A|| 92-0251 ||2014||G-MCGK: HM Coast Guard, op by Bristow;
02jun15 pictured at Aberdeen, Scot ... |
G-MCGK: 20jun15 now based Caernarfon, North Wales
| AW189|| 89001 ||2014||G-MCGM: HM Coastguard, op by Bristow; 17feb15 pictured (top) at Norwich |
G-MCGM: 16apr15 low level flight thru Snowdonia
G-MCGM: 12mar15 pictured (bot) at Norwich
| AW189|| 92001 ||2014||G-MCGN: HM Coast Guard, op by Bristow;
28apr15 pictured down the coast to ... |
| S-92A|| 92-0045 ||2006||G-SARB: HM Coastguard op by CHC Scotia; 2010 Isle of Lewis, Scotland |
| S-92A|| 92-0052 ||2006||G-SARC: HM Coastguard operated by CHC Scotia; 11dec12 an Unst Shetland is ... |
| AW139|| 31208 ||2007||G-SARD: Operated for HM Coastguard by CHC Scotia, since April 2008. |
| AW189|| 49005 ||2013||I-PTFF: 07oct14 unveiled by Bristow and AgustaWestland in HM colours at E ... |
31 Construction Numbers in this organisation found
| CV-22B Osprey 07-0033 |
| 01jul15 at RAF Mildenhall |
| 407GX UR-CLM |
| 03jul15 at Kiev, Ukraine |
| AS350B Ecureuil D-HFEM |
| 02jul15 at Elafonissi, Crete |
| A109e Power F-GLEH |
| 03jul15 Centre Hospitalier Bretagne Atlantique (Vannes), Dz chbs Vannes |
| EC135P1 F-HORL |
| 29jun15 at Aéroport De Guipavas |
| UH-46A 152494 |
| 1989 pictured vertrep operation from personal collection operational photo asg HC-7 with USS Mars (AFS-1) markings |
| S-92A HS-HTH |
| 02jul15 at NST airport on Chevron terminal for off-shore transport |
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