Rescue in Extreme Weather Conditions for 36F

October 24, 2018 (Google Translation) – On October 15, 2018, around 8 pm, the Flottille 36F warning helicopter was fired to rescue a distressed sailboat 3 nautical miles (about 6 km) south of Porquerolles. One end is stuck in the propeller and the two people on board are unable to maneuver their boat.

At night, in the rain, and with a particularly rough sea (level 5), the National Society for Rescue at Sea (SNSM) was unable to tow the boat. The only one capable of intervening in particularly dangerous conditions, the Flottille 36F Panther helicopter took over.

Despite weather conditions resulting in poor visibility and difficulties in radio communication with the boat, the Panther crew was able to geolocate the boat after 20 minutes of research. The rescue proved perilous, due to bad weather conditions, making it difficult and particularly difficult for the Panther crew to intervene . Indeed, by the repeated action of the wind causing the mast of the boat to sway, the latter threatened to hit the rotor of the Panther helicopter.. With the help of a tip and a float placed at the rear of the sailboat, the lifeguard could be pulled to join the 2 people aboard the sailboat and proceed to the evacuation of the victims by raking one to one on board the helicopter. The two survivors, safe and sound, were later transferred to Sainte Musse Hospital.

Flotilla Commander 36F , Commander Damien, in command of the helicopter during this operation, testified, “This dark night accompanied by a torrential downpour gave us sensory illusions. It was a very difficult but successful intervention thanks to a real synergy of all the members of the crew. The CROSSMED and the naval aviation base (BAN) of Hyères also participated in this success by coordinating the rescue intervention. ”

Since the beginning of the summer season: the 36F naval aviation fleet has conducted 42 search and rescue operations at sea, directly involved in the rescue of 24 people on the Mediterranean coast.