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Rescue Helicopter - when memes become real

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Rescue Helicopter - when memes become real

Old 14th Sep 2022, 22:08
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Rescue Helicopter - when memes become real

Got a good chuckle from this.
https://people.com/human-interest/re...do-wilderness/


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Old 14th Sep 2022, 23:19
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And you thought it was just a meme!
Rescue Helicopter Leaves Behind Waving Man Who Was Lost in Colo. Wilderness: 'He's Saying Hi,' Pilot Thought
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 06:44
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An unfortunate but true dit: called out in a Sea King for a missing diver search off the Scilly Isles, and basically hover taxing around the harbour following a report of a sighting. Lots of mooring buoys and general seaman stuff, being a busy harbour, but nothing sighted so we returned to Culdrose.

A few hours later we received a report that the missing chappie was highly miffed as we flew right over him, and he accurately described my helmet looking out the window.

Turns out that he didn’t wave, didn’t respond, and assumed that I had seen him 🤔 🙊

In my defence, a diver’s black wetsuit headpiece blends neatly with buoys and general flotsam 😂
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 14:52
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Originally Posted by John Eacott View Post
An unfortunate but true dit: called out in a Sea King for a missing diver search off the Scilly Isles, and basically hover taxing around the harbour following a report of a sighting. Lots of mooring buoys and general seaman stuff, being a busy harbour, but nothing sighted so we returned to Culdrose.

A few hours later we received a report that the missing chappie was highly miffed as we flew right over him, and he accurately described my helmet looking out the window.

Turns out that he didn’t wave, didn’t respond, and assumed that I had seen him 🤔 🙊

In my defence, a diver’s black wetsuit headpiece blends neatly with buoys and general flotsam 😂
Had a similar experience in the Falklands, tasked to pick up a 6 man patrol who were naturally wearing ‘you can’t see me camouflage suits’. Working on a grid reference that maybe taken from the blue grid or red grid ? I kid you not the Falklands had 2 grid systems, obviously not confusing!
I had just decided we were almost bingo fuel and getting the flock home, when my rear crew called, they are on the right 20 feet away hiding behind the rocks!
When questioned as to why they didn’t make themselves more visible, the answer was, we saw you 2 miles away so we assumed you could see us…….🙀

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Old 15th Sep 2022, 15:33
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In Subic Bay while assigned to the Navy Base there....many of us had local made Banca Boats....canoe type boats with bamboo outriggers for stability and powered by small gasoline engines and of. course nothing else in the way of electronics or radio.

One Sunday morning I. had arranged a rendezvous with a friend....and warned him not to take a direct bee line to the site as there was a coral reef that had to be avoided.

He did not show up...we did our two Dives....and headed back home....to see him in his Banca over by the reef.....we waved using a single hand as normal....and he waved back....using a single hand.

We went on home and hours later after dark we hear of a rescue attempt involving the Cubi Point SAR aircraft and Security Patrol Boats.

We launched...went right to him....my Dive Buddy who was the NCOIC of the Base Police reported the find and we retrieved the fellow and left his boat on the Reef for retrieval in the daylight.

He had forgotten the advice re the reef....ran into it and sheared the drive shaft to the Propeller....the Prop and severed shaft slide out of the boat leaving a two inch hole through which water could enter.

Knuckles (his nickname) quickly found a rag and stuffed into the hole...but the rag would not stay on its own,,,and he had to hold the rag with one hand to stop the flooding. (he did not know how to swim).

So...when we passed by and waved....out of fear of sinking he kept one hand on the rag and the shaft hole.....and waved with the one hand as he feared sinking.

Had he waved with two hands....we would have immediately responded to that and prevented the hoopla that followed.

Moral of the story..... if you need help....wave with both hands!
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 16:01
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I read somewhere that waving is counterproductive as your hand can obscure any hi viz clothing you may be wearing to the search aircraft. This is why high viz gloves are issued in survival kit.
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Old 15th Sep 2022, 17:21
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So!
My hands were removed during my violent exit from the aircraft, my dayglo glove’s are pointless, and trying to remember protection location water food, is the last thing on your mind from your last survival course as you try to swim ashore with a great white hanging off your left testicular.
Not only is waving pointless, so is shouting……. But we all do both when scared 😳 Best drop your pants, and bend over.
Won’t help you, but at least the first responder will have somewhere to park his bike 🚲……..😹😹
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 02:31
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post

Had he waved with two hands....we would have immediately responded to that and prevented the hoopla that followed.

Moral of the story..... if you need help....wave with both hands!
How do you do that if you are physsically incapacitaed, fatigued or even unaware of how to signal to passing rescuers? I don't think that the nature of a wave is suitable method to determine if the individual who has been sighted needs assistance.
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 11:46
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Possibly apocryphal, but our fellow flight at Chivenor had a number of calls for a swimmer in distress in their 'patch'. Picked him up and (at his very vocal insistence) deposited him on the beach near his belongings. On the subsequent (or maybe third) pickup, the 'eurvivor' managed to communicate (with vigour and volume !) that he was unamused by being interupted in his long distance swim training !
At Thorney, our beach 'bumble' used to take in the Portsmouth water-ski club, one of whose members used to wave wildly inviting a pick-up. Quite irrelevantly, she (almost) wure a bikini, and, in a fit of compassion, Herbie ? and crew gave in. Len S, the winchman carried out the onerous bit suffering from the visual distress caused by the 'strop' having a levitating effect on the lady's torso ! She was returned to the club raft and all was good ... until reports of this essential training exercise reached Mrs Len S ... a lady of some stature and trenchant views on spouse's behaviour !!
Such momentary joy, such long lasting pain !

Last edited by Cornish Jack; 16th Sep 2022 at 14:04.
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 20:17
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Because of course everyone has read the US Army survival manual......

There are international signs of course but strangely the whole world hasn't been trained in those - one or two handed wave makes no difference, if in doubt go down and have a look, that will clear things up quickly.

Lots of people wave at helicopters, especially SAR ones, because they are just pleased to know the area they are in is being patrolled.

When you see people waving and pointing, that would count as a clue that someone might be in distress nearby.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 17th Sep 2022 at 09:05. Reason: Remove wind up sentence
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Old 16th Sep 2022, 23:15
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It also depends on how many fingers they are displaying on their waving hand.

I believe that the middle finger being waved means "I am OK, please continue with your flight somewhere else."
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Old 17th Sep 2022, 00:04
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
MJA....apply your thinking skills to this question....is there a difference in meaning to a one handed "Hello" hand wave.....and a two handed over the. head frantic wave?

Or is that too difficult a thing for you to grasp?

As to being unable to wave....the absence of a wave could have a significance in and of itself.

Ia there a prescribed way to wave one's hands to signal distress....if so what is it and is that the only method that SAR crews should respond to....in. your thinking anyway?


A hint for you..... Page 244

https://thesurvivalmom.com/wp-conten...val-manual.pdf
Yes, I can grasp that.
I can also grasp the fact that most missing persons in the bush/outdoors wont have a copy of that manual with them to read when needed.
If the person to be rescued has no comprehension of attracting the attention of rescuers assuming that they know how to wave and are able to perform the required wave is risky I think.

I was invovled at a remote site in a search for a missing person in the Blue Mountains West of Sydney in Australia. There were numerous helicopters flying around doing various things. One overflew me and then returned to circle and called to me on a loudspeaker to ask me to give a particular signal to make sure I was not the missing person. I had previously given them a one handed wave with a thumbs up. I think they did the right thing.
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Old 17th Sep 2022, 15:43
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As a CSRO who according to my certificate underwent with great fortitude and dexterity the rigours of the survival instructors course. Can I point you to my other posts re this matter.
You can’t wave if you have no hands or arms left!
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Old 17th Sep 2022, 16:56
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Nor would One be expected to do so in that tragic event.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 17th Sep 2022 at 17:47. Reason: Remove dross
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Old 20th Sep 2022, 15:04
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Waving two arms in the form of an X might be the correct way, but most of the general sailing public have no idea what it means. I was once some 4 miles offshore in the English Channel in an 18 foot open sailing boat with engine failure. Not much danger, but it was a flat calm, so sails no good. Was passed by multiple other boats who either ignored my signal, or just waved back. Had to call the RNLI for a tow, much to my embarrassment.
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 08:34
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Everybody waves at a SAR helicopter so you just have to fly lower to check they are OK
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 09:07
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Originally Posted by luckyrat View Post
When questioned as to why they didn’t make themselves more visible, the answer was, we saw you 2 miles away so we assumed you could see us…….🙀
I once had an army officer who hadn’t reached the agreed pickup point. His idea of guiding us in on the radio was to keep repeating “You’re in my 12 o’clock…….you’re still in my 12 o’clock…”

Yes, bearing in mind he was facing us, we would be.

Thankfully a responsible adult (presumably an NCO) took over and gave us directions according to the aircraft’s clock code, rather than his 12.

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Old 21st Sep 2022, 14:21
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Fly low to see if it was their whole hand or just one or two upraised digits?
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 14:31
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Fly low to see if it was their whole hand or just one or two upraised digits?
you just can't help yourself can you?
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 20:13
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Fly low to see if it was their whole hand or just one or two upraised digits?
See post #11....
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