Rothesay ferry passengers’ close-up view of rescue exercise

Two images taken from the bridge of MV Argyle during a simulated medical evacuation with the new HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter on Tuesday, January 5.
Two images taken from the bridge of MV Argyle during a simulated medical evacuation with the new HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter on Tuesday, January 5.

Passengers on CalMac’s Rothesay-Gourock ferry got a close-up view this week of a simulated medical evacuation using the new HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter service.

The exercise took place during MV Argyle’s 2.50pm sailing from Rothesay to Gourock on Tuesday, January 5.

A brief announcement was made to passengers during the crossing to ensure they wouldn’t be alarmed by the presence of the S-92 helicopter, based at Prestwick Airport.

A spokesperson for CalMac said: “Such exercises are carried out with relative frequency on a number of our ferries up and down the 200-mile network.

“The exercise lasted approximately 12 minutes and went well.

“CalMac is always happy to work with emergency services in training scenarios like this providing it is safe to do so and that there is no impact on the timetable/normal operation of the vessel.”

There were no delays to the service as a result of the operation.

HM Coastguard took over provision of helicopter search and rescue for much of the west coast from the Royal Navy’s HMS Gannet on January 1; the service is operated on the coastguard’s behalf by private firm Bristow Helicopters, though the team includes several personnel from the former Royal Navy operation.