On Saturday 19th March, the RNLI Lifeboat crew had planned a training session with the new coastguard helicopter. This was to enable them to practise vital training, that will be put to the test in a rescue situation.
The training session started with local coastguard teams and RNLI Crew making an area safe for the helicopter to land on the Beach Lawns. An orange smoke flare was set off to help the pilot judge the wind direction and speed.
Once the aircraft had landed the crew showed the volunteers around its advanced facilities.
With both crews fully briefed the aircraft took off and started to winch members of the RNLI Crew from the beach near the Winter Gardens into the helicopter.
Afterwards the helicopter headed into Weston Bay to begin winching with both of Weston Super Mare Lifeboats, which had launched earlier on in the day.
Once fuel levels dictated the helicopter had to return to its base in St Athan, South Wales.
The Volunteer Lifeboat Crew recovered both Lifeboats, washed them down, refuelled and the where made ready for service by 17.30, after a long eventful day
Weston Super Mare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Charlotte Conroy said “This training session with the coastguard helicopter has proved to be a real success. Training like this really does help our volunteers save more lives at sea.”