Today it was reported that HMS Gannet is likely to close, with operations being transferred to Glasgow Airport. It was also announced that the Search and Rescue capability provided jointly by the RAF and the Royal Navy is to be privatised in 2012. This isn't really news - it has been known for some time that this was going to happen. But have been involved for over twenty years, I suspect it will feel a bit like the passing of a friend. The RAF and Navy Sea Kings have been a feature of the Scottish mountains in much the same way as rain is. I guess the new "service" will be just as good, but privatisation is usually associated with profit, and, I suspect, it may not feel just the 'same'. Can't really explain it.
But hats off to the aircrews. They are real unsung heroes. Unlike the politicians.
Photo courtesy of Allan McGee. Taken on a casualty evacuation in the Moffat Valley. Note the curvature on the blades. No photoshop trickery there.