Helis, June 11, 2020 - The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) carried out a rescue on June 9 evening after a 49-year-old fisherman fell from a canyon in Ponte da Barca.
An AW119Kx “Koala” helicopter from Squadron 552 “Zangões” took off from the Aerodrome of Maneuver No 1 in Ovar at 20:00 hs towards the place at request of the local Civil Protection District in view of the difficulty of a land rescue.
Despite the short time until sunset, the man who suffered minor injuries, was successfully rescued and transported to an ambulance near the site who accompanied him to the Viana Hospital.
Portugal signed a contract for 5 AW119Kx helicopters (plus 2 options) on October 2018 as a replacement of the aging Alouette III fleet. The first helicopter was received by Squadron 552 on February 17, 2019. On May 2020 a Koala detachment for search and rescue (SAR) was established at Ovar base
The Koala is a multi-mission aircraft capable of provide tactical transport, air assault support, search and rescue and firefighting operations.