Coastguard Helicopter

Scotland360° Blog Post - Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team Training Day

Training with the Coastguard Helicopter

Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team has a training exercise every month, with different themes according to the skills and practices which are needed for team members. Each year, we try to have a training day with the HM Coastguard helicopter based in Dalcross, just outside Inverness and last Sunday was an opportunity to train with the crew of the search and rescue helicopter.

Winching team members up into the aircraft (particularly for new recruits) is an essential part of the training as is the control of a stretcher being winched from potentially steep or difficult terrain. The fields outside the team base in Dundonnell are an ideal venue for training in benign terrain, with time and space to go through the necessary procedures.

Having completed the training with the crew of the helicopter, there was also an opportunity to practice setting off parachute flares, sometimes used in night searches to assist in locating casualties.

The photographs below are a short series taken whilst working the the helicopter and are followed by a series of one minute videos of winch practice, stretcher winching and setting off flares... Enjoy the photographs - and the videos are best viewed in full screen mode.

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Winchman at the ready

In a low hover, preparing for winching

At the top of the winch and ready for the door

On the hook and going back down again

The stretcher on the way up to the helicopter

Steady as she goes

Controlling the wire

Winching practice with the Coastguard helicopter in a "low hover".

Winching the Macinnes stretcher on board the helicopter with the use of a highline to prevent the stretcher spinning.

Ray firing a parachute flare.

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Posted by Angus Mackie

Angus Mackie

I’m Angus Mackie, a professional forester and photographer, based just north of Inverness on the beautiful Black Isle.  I'm on the North Coast 500 and am well placed to discover most of the Highlands.  The iconic scenery of Glen Affric and the Cairngorms are close by whilst many of the wild and dramatic locations on the west coast are within easy reach.

Mountains, landscapes, coastlines....  As a landscape and panoramic photographer, I enjoy exploring Scotland and its wild and remote places and have discovered some of the best photography locations in the Highlands over the last 35 years of living up here.  With a broad and wide ranging knowledge of the Highlands, I still enjoy finding new locations and fresh perspectives for my photography.  The use of natural light to capture stunning scenery at spectacular locations is very much a key factor for my photography.

I’m a qualified Summer Mountain Leader, a Sea Kayak Leader and a UKCC Level 2 Sea Kayaking coach, with many years experience of leading and guiding.  I am also a longstanding member of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team.

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