Provides 24 hour SAR coverage for the UK SRR Solent District at 15 minutes readiness. SAR presence at Lee-on-Solent since around 1973, but the MCA civilian contract has only been in place since 1988. At the end of Nov 2006, ground was broken for a new MCA helicopter hangar at Lee-on-Solent, to house the AW139 due to enter service in early 2008, replacing the S-61N here.
Following award of 2013 Bristow GAP SAR contract, the SAR service handed over from CHC AW139 to Bristow AW189, in preparation for transition into the full 2015 contract arrangements from 2017.
Scheduled to be first base with AW189 from April 2017
News about Solent District
30-Jun-19 - Opened in 2013, St Mary’s Hospital received 897 helicopter landings by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, HM Coastguard and other life-saving services #StMary
04-Feb-19 - A HM Coastguard’ AW189 from Solent rescued a a glider pilot after crashing into trees on the South Downs, Sussex #Glider
31-Mar-17 - HM Coastguard helicopter base in Lee-On-Solent has started flying the AW189 helicopter for SAR operations. Operated by Bristow, bases Prestwick, St Athan, Lydd and Inverness will follow
03-Jan-17 - HM Coastguard first of two new AW189 helicopters for the Lee-on-Solent base. Will replace the current AW139 from April 2017