UK SAR Crews Honoured by The Queen

The Coastguard’s helicopter Search and Rescue crews continue to be commended and awarded for their life-saving efforts during their time in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy prior to joining Bristow Helicopters, where they now operate the SAR helicopter service on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

Russell Torbet, director of UK SAR, said: “Our crews, both civilian and ex-military, are of the highest calibre so it comes as no surprise that they are recognised for their efforts. My thanks go to Clem, Sprokkit and Speedy for continuing the military’s SAR legacy with Bristow and HM Coastguard.”

Sergeant Neil Clements and Flight Sergeant Sean Proctor have been awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery in the Air (QCBA) in respect of notable taskings whilst working with the Royal Air Force.

Neil Clements, now winchman paramedic at Caernarfon SAR, was honoured for volunteering to rescue a woman in distress, by winch, in rough seas off Tynemouth Pier, on 5th November 2014.

Sean Proctor, now based at Inverness SAR as chief crewman (winch operator / paramedic), also received the honour for participating in the winch rescue of a crewman suffering severe abdominal pains on fishing vessel Kjelsvikk, 95 nm north-east of Aberdeen, on 7th January 2015.

The Queen has also been graciously pleased to approve the award of The Queen’s Gallantry Medal (QGM) to Petty Officer Aircrewman Alan Speed. Alan is now based at Inverness, also in the role of winchman paramedic, and has been awarded the QGM for rescuing ten passengers trapped in a single decker bus in a heavily flooded river in Dailly, South Ayrshire on 30th December 2015.