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Royal Navy and RAF rescues

Search and Rescue helicopters from the RAF and Royal Navy rescued 23 people from a stricken ferry which ran aground off the coast of Blackpool. Riverdance was one of the victims of the high winds that battered Britain on the 31st. Struck by a freak wave, it was rolling in sea conditions described by the local Royal National Lifeboat Institution as "horrendous”.

”First on the scene at around 2045 hrs was a Sea King helicopter crew from the RAF's 22 Squadron Search and Rescue Unit based at RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales.

The four man RAF crew, commanded by Flight Lieutenant Lee Turner, consisted of a second pilot, a winch operator, and winch man Master Air Crew Rich Taylor, who abseiled down the rope to Riverdance in order to assist the passengers and crew."

All the crew members were airlifted to safety.

We lie safely tucked in our beds while the winds howl and these tremendous men are abseiling down ropes in the middle of storms.

In other news-

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"A Royal Navy Search and Rescue team based in Scotland carried out more missions in 2007 than any helicopter search team has done in the UK since records began.”

The crews of the three Sea King Search and Rescue helicopters based at HMS Gannet, in Prestwick, Ayrshire, undertook 357 helicopter missions to assist 349 people. “As a consequence of such regular activity the bright red and grey Sea Kings have become a familiar sight over the seas and mountains of the Highlands, Lake District and Northern Ireland, where the team operate.”

Still, you can't help wondering if they're getting a little careless up north. 'No worries, love, the Royal Navy will get us home.'

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