Article written by Lt Cdr George Adams RN Photo by Petty Officer “Dutchy” Holland, HMS York
HMS York, a Portsmouth-based Type 42 Destroyer, was one of 3 units involved in a rescue mission 300 miles south east of the Falkland Islands earlier today.
HMS York was dispatched at 0800 local from East Cove Military Port on East Falkland, along with RFA Wave Ruler (the on-station tanker), to act as a floating service station for a RAF Sea King helicopter from 1564 Search and Rescue (SAR) Flight. The Sea King had been launched following the receipt of a Mayday call from a trawler some 300 miles south east of East Falkland. The trawler had a crew member with a suspected ruptured appendix.
The Sea King was operating in strong southerly head winds and required a top up, which it took from RFA Wave Ruler. The method used is known as Helicopter In-Flight Refuelling, or HIFR. All 3 units were operating in winds of 30 knots gusting to 40 generating high sea states. Following the successful refuelling, both ships continued to head south to close the trawler should they be needed again. The aircraft successfully winched the ill crew member to safety and, with a boost from the continuing strong tail winds, flew him direct to Port Stanley hospital. His current condition is unknown.
Photographs show the 1564 Flight aircraft in it’s approach to RFA Wave Ruler and in the hover taking fuel during HIFR.