The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency has reported that by the summer of 2017 there will be ten coastguard search and rescue helicopter bases established around the UK.
All ten bases will be operated by Bristow Helicopters Ltd on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard at the following locations:
• Central southern England • Northern England • Northern Scotland • North Wales • Shetland Isles • South east England • Southern Scotland • South Wales • South west England • Western Isles
Bristow Helicopters Ltd already provides helicopters and crew to the two coastguard search and rescue bases in Shetland and the Western Isles. Over the coming months, seven more coastguard helicopter bases will open and the current base at Lee on Solent, Hampshire will move over to the Bristow contract. As the new bases open, the military helicopters which currently carry out civilian search and rescue will finish their civilian obligations.
The new coastguard search and rescue crews will be highly experienced, many will be existing crew who are currently working in search and rescue either for the military or coastguard.
The helicopters will provide search and rescue many miles out to sea and all the way around the 10,500 miles of UK coastline. The coastguard helicopters will also operate extensively inland.