I had the pleasure of flying with Dave for nearly 7 years when I was DCP at Lee SAR with the S61N late 80's, early 90's. In my time there, Dave was awarded the CCG's Commendation for Meritorious Service in 1992 too.
I am sure Dave won't mind me mentioning this but he has written a book of his life in SAR "On the Wire" and had it published. If you are interested then PM me and I will let you have the link to the publisher
John, I wouldn't have a problem with you posting the link here,
Plans to keep search-and-rescue helicopter services going at four key centres were announced by the Government today.
The existing Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) contract is set to expire at bases at Portland in Dorset, Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire and at Shetland and the Isle of Lewis in Scotland.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said today that the Department for Transport would shortly run a competition to procure an interim service at the bases for a period of up to five years.
He added that this contract would be similar to the arrangements currently in place for the bases.
Today's move follows Mr Hammond's announcement in February this year that the Government was halting a £6 billion procurement programme for search-and-rescue helicopters because the preferred bidder had admitted it had access to commercially sensitive information.
Under the privatisation plans, preferred bidder Soteria would have provided US Sikorsky helicopters to fly search-and-rescue missions from 12 bases, including ones operated by the Royal Navy and the RAF.
The Sikorsky aircraft would replace the Sea King helicopters which the Ministry of Defence plans to withdraw from service in 2016.
Mr Hammond said today that the RAF and Navy operations would continue while consideration was given "to the long-term provision of search-and-rescue helicopter capability".
He said he would announce the Government's long-term intentions later in the year.
Meanwhile, the Government is expected to announce shortly that it is watering down plans for big cutbacks in the coastguard service.
Originally, the Government proposed that the number of coastguard centres be reduced from 18 to eight, with only three remaining open 24 hours a day.
But it is believed that the Government will soon say that 11 coastguard stations will be kept on and that all these remaining stations will be 24-hour operational.
Job losses are expected to be fewer than the 250 originally planned.
The original proposals were criticised in a recent report by the House of Commons Transport Committee, which said that evidence it had received during its inquiry into coastguards had raised "serious concerns that safety will be jeopardised if these proposals proceed".
Committee chairman Louise Ellman said the coastguard proposals were "seriously flawed" and there was little support for them.
Another interesting quote from his statement today...
'The RAF and Royal Navy will continue to provide coverage from their SAR bases as at present, while I consider the options for the long-term provision of SAR helicopter capability.
'I will inform the House later in the year of the government’s intentions for the longer term. The procurement strategy we adopt for the longer term will seek to ensure that the Ministry of Defence is able to complete its previously announced intention to withdraw its Sea Kings from service in 2016.'
...implies that whatever the longer term strategy might be there wont be a huge lead in time to get a full civilian service up & running by 2016.
Is acquiring new airframes in the numbers needed in that sort of timescale realistic?
Is acquiring suitably trained crews in the numbers needed in that sort of timescale realistic also?
As I understood it the Soteria transition was phased for these reasons & should have started about now in order to allow for the Sea King's demise in 2016. It will be an interesting bit of procurement & project management to replicate that in a significantly shorter timescale whether or not the longer term contract is for 5, 10 or 25 yrs.
Here we go again then.......:confused I think you are right SW....there seems little time from one contract to another. Looks like the IPT will be busy...... As for the Soteria transition period....I think that was more lengthy than really neccessary driven by HMG rather than what was thought possible...so maybe there is room for some compacting....and of course under the original plan, Mil SAR SK wasn't to finally go from the last few Flts until 2017.....so any winning bidder is going to have to step lightly to get it all to work!
Location: Retired to Bisley from the small African nation
No idea where Crab is, but if you need a SAR pilot, or a bloke who worked on the Cyprus COMR bids, the interim CG SAR contract and SAR-H itself, I'm still available. (though Tallsar could also no doubt claim at least 4 out of those 5!)