Refuelling aircraft from RAF Mildenhall aids in yacht rescue

A KC-135 Stratotanker based at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: SIMON PARKER

A KC-135 Stratotanker based at RAF Mildenhall. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A military aircraft from RAF Mildenhall helped save a crew stranded on a yacht.

The racing yacht called the Clyde Challenge, which had 14 people on board, was travelling from the Azores, off of the coast of Portugal, to the UK when it was hit by a large wave and became stranded at sea.

HMS Dragon, a Royal Navy warship, was called to help with the rescue on February 9 and they called in assistance from RAF Mildenhall.

A KC-135 Stratotanker from the airbase was sent to help provide overhead surveillance and communication support.

Col Thomas Torkelson, 100th Air Refueling Wing commander, Said: 'Unexpected life-saving opportunities like this one illustrate the importance of partnership training and the relationships behind those activities.'


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Multiple rescue attempts were made but weather conditions prohibited a safe rescue by HMS Dragon until February 11.

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