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A sea king Mk5 from 771 squadron
Sea King Mk5’s hover in formation
Sea King Mk5

In addition to its military taskings, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm also provide Search and Rescue cover to large sections of the United Kingdom coastline, 24 hours a day and 365 days per year, typically at 15 minutes notice. Based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall and Prestwick in Scotland, Royal Navy helicopters are constantly available and fly missions that are as varied as they are far-reaching. In recent months, missions have included long range medical evacuation from ships at sea, assistance to vessels in distress, cliff fallers, swimmers, divers and surfers. Additionally, several hospital-to-hospital transfers from Cornwall to other parts of the country have been flown. Often missions are international in nature - the rescue of foreign mariners, assistance to foreign flagged vessels, even recoveries in both France and the Republic of Ireland.

In Scotland coverage spans southern Scotland to Edinburgh, 200 nautical miles west of the Irish coast, as far north as Ben Nevis and as far south as the Lake District. It offers a much needed service in the hazardous Highlands and the isolated Hebrides as well as providing maritime SAR in the cruel seas of the Scottish coast. In Cornwall coverage extends over the equally hazardous and extremely busy areas of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, the Western English Channel and the Southwest Approaches.

771 Naval Air Squadron Search and Rescue (SAR), based at RNAS Culdrose.

HMS Gannet SAR Flight Search and Rescue Flight based at Prestwick, Scotland.