Departing Search and Rescue Sea King HAR.3A of 22 Squadron 'B' flight based at RAF Wattisham. / © Philip Stevens
On the 6th February 2011, the RAF Search and Rescue Force (SARF) commemorate seventy years of saving lives.
Born out of the Battle of Britain, its predecessor, the Directorate of Air Sea Rescue (ASR) was formed at the HQ of RAF Coastal Command in 1941, with a mandate to form a combined and effective rescue service for downed Allied aircrew that were being lost at an alarming rate in the seas around Britain.
Since 1941, tens of thousands of lives have been saved by the men and women of ASR and SARF, operating in marine craft, fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, right up to the present day. They have been ably assisted in this task by HM Coastguard since 1971.
To celebrate this anniversary year it is planned to have the fleet of yellow RAF Sea King helicopters decorated with a specially designed 70th Anniversary emblem which will also appear on a set of first day cover stamps for the Falkland and Ascension Islands.
Project officer Sqn Ldr Spike Wright from RAF Valley said: ‘It’s important that we remember and recognise as a nation, the devotion to duty and life saving shown by the personnel of search and rescue who regularly risk their lives to save others.’
Source: Squadron Leader Dave Webster