The RAF’s new Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth was launched on Search and Rescue duties for the first time last week as it helped rescue two transatlantic rowers.

HM Coastguard established that the two Faroese crew members were in a life raft after their rowing vessel had capsized and sunk.

After communicating with merchant vessels in the area a ship, the Nordic Qinngua, made its way towards the stricken rowers.

UK mission controllers

On reaching the scene, the crew of the Poseidon were able to communicate with the merchant vessel and relay information back to UK mission controllers to help coordinate the rescue efforts.

“This operation showcases the world-leading capability of the Poseidon aircraft and coupled with the highly skilled crews, we were able to bring to bear the capability at short notice and help rescue the rowers,” said Wing Commander Adam Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron.

“We were able to get eyes on with the merchant ship and the lifeboat in good time which allowed us to relay their positions back to the UK. The conditions made rescue very difficult but thanks to some skilful manoeuvring, the ship managed to bring the life raft alongside and recover the rowers,” said Flight Lieutenant Daz Williams, mission commander.
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