Hunstanton Lifeboat crews take part in training exercise

The Hunstanton RNLI training exercise with the Coastguard, held on the The Wash in Hunstanton. Pictu

The Hunstanton RNLI training exercise with the Coastguard, held on the The Wash in Hunstanton. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Hunstanton Lifeboat crews were out in action this morning - but were practicing their life-saving skills rather than performing a rescue operation.

The Hunstanton RNLI training exercise with the Coastguard, held on the The Wash in Hunstanton. Pictu

The Hunstanton RNLI training exercise with the Coastguard, held on the The Wash in Hunstanton. Picture: Matthew Usher.

They were at sea for their first exercise with the Lifeboat's new search and rescue helicopter provider which is taking over duties from the RAF.

Crowds gathered along the promenade overlooking The Wash to watch the lifeboat and rescue hovercraft practice various manoeuvres, including landing the winchman from the helicopter to the vessels.

Rod Hicks from the Hunstanton Lifeboat Station said: 'This exercise is so important because everyone needs to be fully prepared before it comes to doing this for real.

'It also enables the aircrew to and our crews to become familiar with their new working techniques.'

He added: 'They will be working with a different helicopter and will need to manoeuvre the hovercraft or boat in a slightly different way to what they're used to; mainly because the downdraft from its rotor-blades is going to be different.'

The helicopter provider for search and rescue operations is now Bristows, which used a Sikorsky S-92 based in Humberside for the hour-long session.

Most Read

It is kitted out with 'comprehensive medical suite' to transport casualties rescued at sea.

Before the iconic yellow 'Sea King' helicopter based at RAF Wattisham was used for rescue operations off the coastline.

Hunstanton Lifeboat Station is based at Old Hunstanton.

- Do you have a story about a rescue? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter