London January 25, 2010 (seawaves.com) - An injured fisherman was airlifted from his vessel 200 nautical miles (370km) west of the Scilly Isles last week by a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter which, given the extreme operating range, was given top cover by an RAF Nimrod.
Royal Air Force Nimrod MR2 Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft in flight over water (stock image)
[Picture: Senior Aircraftman Adam Houlston, Crown Copyright/MOD 2008]
The Spanish fisherman from the vessel Bogavante Segundo had been struck by some of the vessel's fishing gear and sustained chest injuries, but was described as 'walking wounded' by the helicopter crew.
The Sea King was scrambled from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose and in addition to the normal naval crew a paramedic from the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust was also on board the aircraft, available to provide expert care should the need arise.
Due to the location of the fishing boat, 200 nautical miles west of the Scilly Isles, which meant the Sea King was operating at its extreme range, top cover from the Nimrod was requested.
The Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre based at RAF Kinloss received the call from the Falmouth Coastguard and a Nimrod from 201 (Guernsey's Own) Squadron arrived at the scene and was able to locate the fishing vessel before the rescue helicopter arrived.
Lieutenant Commander Simon Daw, Captain of the Sea King helicopter, said:
"The weather conditions were reasonable but there was a heavy swell which made the job more difficult than usual, and although we were working near the limits of our range the job went well. We wish the fisherman a speedy recovery."
The Sea King crew flew the fisherman to the Royal Cornwall Hospital (Treliske), where he was treated for a broken collar bone and suspected internal injuries.