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Injured Canadian Sailor Airlifted to Sligo

Sub_Guy

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/8284259.stm


A Sea King helicopter crew from RAF Valley on Anglesey carried out a long range rescue of a Canadian sailor whose hand had been crushed.

The crew flew around 200 miles out into the Atlantic to pick up the man from the frigate HMCS Montreal and take him to hospital in Sligo, Ireland.

The 50-year-old sailor's fingers would have been amputated if he had not received the emergency treatment.

The helicopter had to land on the ship in sea mist on Wednesday at 1736 BST.

The helicopter crew of four took off from RAF Valley at 1120 BST after it had been stripped of surplus equipment to maximise its range.

Radar

After refuelling at Blacksod airfield in Ireland, the helicopter flew on to meet with the Montreal 220 miles out in the Atlantic ocean.

As the aircraft neared the rendezvous point in deteriorating weather and sea mist at low level, the Sea King's radar picked up just one ping from the vessel.

"I managed to get one ping out of the radar but luckily it was the one ping we needed," said Flt Sgt Nick Swannick on his return to RAF Valley.

The Sea King landed on the rear deck of the ship and with rotors running and brought the casualty and his escort safely aboard.

After a two hour flight to Sligo airport, the casualty was taken by ambulance to hospital for emergency surgery.
 

Occam

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Give me a ping, Vasili. One ping only, please.    ;D

Did anyone bother to tell the Brits that our ships have TACAN?  Would've saved their sensor operator a lot of work....
 

armyvern

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Just curious, where was the Sea King owned by Canada at? Isn't there one normally aboard the HMCS Montreal?  ???
 

The Bread Guy

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Here's hoping for a speedy recovery to the sailor involved, and (technical wizardy notwithstanding) well done to the Sea King team.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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ArmyVern said:
Just curious, where was the Sea King owned by Canada at? Isn't there one normally aboard the HMCS Montreal?  ???

Not every ship has the means to carry a Sea King with Air Det anymore.  On the Tanker they got rid of the whole shebang several years ago.  IIRC, the Montreal was reconfigured to carry a Command element which necessatated the removal of the Air Det and Bird as well.  And the AF is experiencing shortages in both birds and personnel as well which cuts down on availiblilty.  And lastly, sadly, it is too common for the bird to be sick when carried and we have to rely on others to carry the ball.  These things are down more than up and their replacement should have happened in the 90's with the Merlin.  F'n Liberals.......
 

armyvern

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jollyjacktar said:
Not every ship has the means to carry a Sea King with Air Det anymore.  On the Tanker they got rid of the whole shebang several years ago.  IIRC, the Montreal was reconfigured to carry a Command element which necessatated the removal of the Air Det and Bird as well.  And the AF is experiencing shortages in both birds and personnel as well which cuts down on availiblilty.  And lastly, sadly, it is too common for the bird to be sick when carried and we have to rely on others to carry the ball.  These things are down more than up and their replacement should have happened in the 90's with the Merlin.  F'n Liberals.......

~Whew~ Thank you for your answer - I was actually afraid that I was going to hear a "they had to scuttle our own sick (odds are) bird off the side of the Montreal in order to allow the healthy RAF bird to land".

So, essentially canada requires big new ships - capable of carrying a Comd det AND an Air Det (gee, who'd ever have thought we'd need both those aboard a warship ::) ). Yep, to your last remark.

 

observor 69

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ArmyVern said:
~Whew~ Thank you for your answer - I was actually afraid that I was going to hear a "they had to scuttle our own sick (odds are) bird off the side of the Montreal in order to allow the healthy RAF bird to land".

Still pondering whether that would have been such a bad thing.  :-\  :)
 

The Bread Guy

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ArmyVern said:
So, essentially canada requires big new ships - capable of carrying a Comd det AND an Air Det (gee, who'd ever have thought we'd need both those aboard a warship ::) ).
Vern, Vern, Vern.... there you go making sense again.... ;)
 

FDO

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Not too long ago MOntreal came out of refit where they redid her hanger to accomodate the new helocopters. I sailed on Montreal with the Staff configuration and staff, and we had an Air Det as well.

All the ships still have the ability to carry Air Det and Helo, it's getting them to fly or the Techs to service them that's the probelm. The only ships in the Canadian Fleet righ now that do not have that ability are the MCDVs and the new Orcas. CPF, 280, and AOR can still do Air OPs

What we have done now is trained Ship's Company to land Helos. Bos'ns are now working a Flightdeck crew. MS/P2 as Flightdeck Director and LS/AB as flightdeck workers. It's called "SWOAD" "Ship without Air Det". I was Flightdeck director when I was in Montreal. Of course we could land and take off but if one came in requiring maintenance they were hooped. We carried no Techs to fix them.

I'm trying to find out all the details. Any that I can share I will.
 

NavyShooter

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FDO,

There's not too many 50 yr old sailors on a warship, so that narrows it down to someone in only 1 of the 3 messes, and of us "goats" it's probably 1 of about 5-8 senior people.

My guess would be CBM or CERA.  :-(

I hope they can save his hand whomever it is! 

I came off the MON last fall after 4 years onboard, so there's still a pretty good chance I know the person.

I wish him well, and the docs who're working on him too.

NS
 

NavyShooter

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More details found on DIN.

Is it permissible to post "NATO UNCLAS" message traffic? 

NS
 

NavyShooter

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I know the gent, he was onboard when I sailed. 

He's a senior stoker type, one of several in rank/trade.

Won't post details on the sailor.  (the NATO Msg above mentioned is a "THANK-YOU" note from MON to the Brits for their support.)

NS

 
J

jollyjacktar

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FDO, speaking for the Tanker only.  Yes, they could do Helops once again.  But it would mean a whole bunch of planning and undoing what has been done.  All the bits and bobs that go with having an Air Det were taken off and sent away several years ago.  With the exception of the FF, refueling gear, SWOAD stuff it's gone gone gone. 

When I first was posted to her in 99 she could do 3rd line, then that was stripped.  It went downhill from there.
 

FDO

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Wow, never thought I'd see a "Red Deck" on the tankers. And as for SWOAD, when I was there it was the new up and coming thing. We did all the trials and even did a portion of Air WUPs. Well I should be back at sea next APS so I guess it's going to be interesting.

Thanks for the info JJ.
 

Occam

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NavyShooter said:
I know the gent, he was onboard when I sailed. 

He's a senior stoker type, one of several in rank/trade.

Your information is in error - he is not a stoker, and to say anything more without anything being in the press would be a violation of PERSEC.  I'm sure if MARLANT PA wants us to know who it is, they'll issue an official press release.
 

tomahawk6

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9bd75w.jpg


The view from the on-board camera of a Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Sea King as it approaches Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal
 

Buddha66

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Personally, I think we owe a thank you to the RAF crew who conducted the mission to help out one of our brothers in arms.  The reporting of the story may be a tad sensationalistic, especially with the one ping line, but that doesn't take away the from the fact that this crew acted in a most professional manner.  BZ
 

NavyShooter

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Nice photo, and the thank-you message from the ship is well written.

NS
 
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