Sea King XZ593 has been gifted to the Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust (FIMNT) by the Ministry of Defence. The helicopter was officially handed over to Mr Richard Cockwell OBE on behalf of FIMNT, by Commander of British Forces South Atlantic Islands, Commodore Darren Bone RN.
The Sea King helicopter was transported from Mount Pleasant Complex (MPC) to Stanley Airport via Chinook, a task that required specific expertise from the UK. The 35 mile trip took the helicopters along the length of Stanley Harbour, passing the Historic Dockyard and Museum, Victory Green and the Lady Liz shipwreck.
Upon arrival at Stanley Airport, the Sea King was formally presented to the trustees of the FIMNT, along with the aircrafts logbook and a framed photograph. Afterwards visitors at the airport were invited to explore inside the Sea King and Chinook helicopters.
Commodore Bone RN said:
For over a generation, the Sea King has been a reassuring sight across the Falkland Islands. It has gone to the rescue of Islanders, military personnel and numerous fishermen and sailors.
Commodore Bone added:
The Sea King has been a demonstrable link between the British Forces South Atlantic Islands and the Islanders and reflects the close cooperation and interaction that continues between the 2 communities. It is fitting that this aircraft should stay in the Falkland Islands.
Over its 38 years of service, XZ593 clocked up more than 17,400 flying hours. It operated across the United Kingdom and routinely deployed to the Falkland Islands, where Sea Kings had provided military search and rescue cover since 1983. In March 2016, this aircraft conducted the very last Sea King rescue, recovering an injured sailor from a fishing vessel.