HM Coastguard Search and Rescue crewman honoured following near half-century of service

A prestigious Master Rearcrew Certificate has been presented to Kevin Weller, Chief Technical Crew at HM Coastguard Search and Rescue (SAR) base, Caernarfon, to recognise his contribution to rotary aviation.

The award was presented by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots at a black-tie dinner at The Guildhall in London October 21.  The award recognises long service and consistently high standards in one or more branches of professional flying whether civil or military, including air transport, airborne instruction, test, or operational flying.

Mr. Weller, played a key role in the transition of the HM Coastguard SAR helicopter service to Bristow in 2015, helping to ensure the safe introduction of Sikorsky S-92 helicopters to North Wales, and managing the transition of a large number of aircrew from the military.

He served with the Royal Navy from May 1973 where he qualified as an aircrewman on Wasp helicopters and before receiving his instructor qualification. In the years following the Royal Navy, he began teaching future generations of UK and overseas aircrew at the SAR Training Unit at RAF Valley.

Having amassed over 7,000 flying hours in military aviation, Mr. Weller was back on the front line as he joined Bristow in 2014, as the business prepared to begin delivering the HM Coastguard SAR helicopter service for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency of the UK Government.

Mr. Weller said: “I’m honoured to receive the Master Rearcrew Certificate. Being part of the SAR service through my military career into my tenure with Bristow has been hugely rewarding. From taking part in countless rescues to instructing future generations at the SAR training unit, I am incredibly proud to be part of the team.”

Capt. David Kenyon, Chief Pilot at Caernarfon said: “Having known Kevin for almost 20 years, I have experienced first-hand what an outstanding aviator, manager and instructor he is and his passion to inspire those following in his footsteps.

“His steadfast support to the development, training and conduct of SAR helicopter operations across the military and civilian sectors marks him out as a worthy recipient of the Master Rearcrew Certificate. He has performed numerous challenging rescues, continuing to operate at the highest level of capability that HM Coastguard is renowned for, and I am exceptionally proud to call him a colleague and friend.”

Kevin Weller, Chief Technical Crew at HM Coastguard Search and Rescue (SAR) base, Caernarfon with his wife and grandchildren at a base family day (click to download high resolution image).


For further information please contact:

Maritime and Coastguard Agency Press Office:
0203 817 2222

Bristow Helicopters Communications: 
07815 561545 

About HM Coastguard

HM Coastguard is a frontline delivery and emergency response organisation which is part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

HM Coastguard provides a UK-wide maritime emergency prevention and response capability which responds to calls for help by radio, satellite or the 999 service and coordinates maritime search and rescue (SAR) within the UK SAR region. The agency helps approximately 25,000 people each year with 21,000 incidents coordinated by its rescue centres.

About Bristow Helicopters Ltd

Bristow Helicopters Ltd is the provider of helicopter search and rescue (SAR) services in the UK, on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard. Bristow Helicopters has a long history of providing world class SAR services, beginning in 1971 at RAF Manston, and has flown more than 60,000 SAR operational hours in the UK and conducted over 15,000 SAR missions, during which more than 7,000 people have been rescued by Bristow crews and helicopters. For more information on Bristow’s SAR operations, please visit