News story

Coastguard helicopter team shortlisted for IMRF H.E.R.O. Awards

The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon has been shortlisted for the International Maritime Rescue Federation’s (IMRF) H.E.R.O. Awards.

Family Rescued
The family of six pictured after their rescue with back row (left to right) pilot James Lorraine, winchman Ian O’Grady, winch operator Zac Stubbings, and, front, pilot Mike Day.

The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon has been shortlisted for the International Maritime Rescue Federation’s (IMRF) H.E.R.O. Awards.

‘Rescue 936’ – the UK Coastguard Caernarfon based helicopter is shortlisted for the team award after carrying out a number of lifesaving missions, in treacherous conditions, of men, women and children across North West England during Storm Desmond in December 2015.

On shift during the storm, and in only the sixth month of operation for Caernarfon, James Lorraine was the duty Captain at Caernarfon SAR and was joined by Mike Day (co-pilot), Zach Stubbings (Winch Operator), Ian O’Grady (Winch Man) and their team of engineers and support staff. This was a busy shift for the base, responding throughout the night to rescue people affected by the storm.

Damien Oliver, Assistant Director for Aviation said: ‘We all very proud of the crews of Her Majesty’s Coastguard helicopter base in Caernarfon. I have watched some of the helicopter footage from that very difficult evening during Storm Desmond and can honestly say that this nomination could not be more deserved. Our Coastguard helicopter crews across the UK are truly remarkable people. They work around the clock in all weathers to rescue people in even the most treacherous conditions. To be shortlisted is a great honour for all of the people who make this life-saving service work, Bristow Helicopters and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.’ The crew spent 13 hours in the helicopter over this shift and rescued 10 people.

The highly coveted international awards recognise sea rescue, innovative life-saving equipment, personal commitment and organisational capability drawing attention across the world to the life-saving work done in the name of maritime Search and Rescue (SAR).

The categories for the awards include team, individual, innovation and technology and the first H.E.R.O. Award for outstanding service to maritime search and rescue, ‘The Vladimir Maksimov Award’, sponsored by Inmarsat.

The recipients of H.E.R.O. awards will be announced at ceremonies in the USA and Portugal on 15 November. For further information on those shortlisted please visit http://www.international-maritime-rescue.org/

The footage was filmed by the helicopter team.

The Caernarfon rescue

Published 2 November 2016