HM Coastguard operating New AW189 SAR.


AgustaWestland AW189 SAR

The HM Coastguard search and rescue has started flying the new Leonardo AW189 helicopter for SAR operations.

The helicopter will  be operated out of the Lee-On-Solent helicopter base by Bristow on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Fleet colours will be the HM coastguard red and white livery.

Damien Oliver, assistant director for aviation at the maritime and coastguard agency (MCA) said: “We are excited to add these new AW189 helicopters to our Coastguard helicopter fleet. These are some of the most technologically advanced helicopters providing lifesaving services in the world today. The crews that will fly the new helicopters, and the engineers that maintain them, will continue to demonstrate the utmost professionalism and dedication to the work of saving lives here in the south of England.”

Bristow won the contract to deliver SAR operations on behalf of the MCA.

Russell Torbet, director of UK SAR at Bristow said: “We are very pleased that Bristow is returning to Lee-On-Solent which we previously operated on behalf of the Coastguard from 1988 until 2007. Our transition team has been at Lee-On-Solent since January continuing their training on the AW189 and preparing for this handover. They are ready to go.

“The existing Lee-On-Solent crews will commence induction and training with Bristow from the start of April to transition onto the AW189 aircraft type over the coming months. This has been a lot of work for everyone involved and we’re looking forward to introducing the AW189 and continuing this life-saving service in the region.”