HM Coastguard rescue helicopter drill
A rescue helicopter is calling ships every now and then at a VHF frequency. Today that was by the HM coastguard rescue helicopter from the station at Holyhead to perform the helicopter drill. normally those drills are being performed during daylight this time however it was done on board of the Thun Gothenburg at night just after sunset.
The helicopter crew called the vessel by VHF and asked permission to perform a drill on board of the vessel. As a captain, I almost never refuse this kind of drills since I find it of utmost importance that the crews of rescue helicopters are being trained well in close corporation with the ship’s crew. After all the ship’s crew life may depend on it.
Dropping a rescuer
They were going to land one person on deck. At first, they tried to land the person on the aft of the accommodation but didn’t want to come too close. Therefore they went amidships and dropped one of the rescuers on deck. Since the vessel was in ballast, it looked relatively easy to come on board. Although for an outsider like me, this is very hard to judge. The weather conditions were not too bad and the ship was able to maintain the same course during all operations.
I was able to make some shots even though it was nighttime but found myself hindered by the intensity of the searchlight of the helicopter. The searchlight caused a heavy lens flare but I find it worked out beautifully at the end of the day. The colors and color cast are in fact making this shot worthwhile. Due to the low light conditions, there is also an acceptable amount of noise in the shots.
For more drills, you can use the search function at this site.