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[CG] Helicopter crew use river as guide through heavy fog in rescue bid

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  • [CG] Helicopter crew use river as guide through heavy fog in rescue bid

    Fair dues to the guys doing the rescue, but why drive from Shannon to Limerick when they couldn't drive from Foynes (or was it West Clare) to Limerick?

    That or half the artcle is "missing" Indo-style
    Helicopter crew use river as guide through heavy fog in rescue bid
    From:The Irish Independent
    Wednesday, 20th December, 2006

    THICK fog forced a Coast Guard helicopter crew to fly low along the River Shannon yesterday in a desperate bid to get a critically injured ship's crewman to hospital.

    The Filipino man was on board a large cargo vessel anchored on the river off Cappa Pier, near Co Clare, when he was injured. He fell about six metres down a hatch and suffered serious head injuries.

    The ship was waiting for a berth at the Aughinish Alumina plant, near Foynes, Co Limerick, when the accident happened around 1pm. The master arranged a small vessel to bring the crewman ashore where he was met by a doctor and an ambulance.

    But the doctor refused to allow him be taken to hospital in an ambulance after noting the serious extent of the man's head injuries.

    Valentia Coast Guard was called in and it scrambled a Shannon-based chopper and it is understood the man was winched on board.

    But it was feared the helicopter would not be able to return to Shannon due to fog. Dublin and Cork airports were also fogbound. Galway airport was described as marginal and Kerry was also hit.

    In a last-ditch rescue attempt, the helicopter crew flew to Shannon airport in dangerous fog. It flew at low level using the River Shannon as its guider. The crew landed in Shannon about 3.45pm. A medical team rushed the man to Limerick Hospital.

    It is understood he suffered a fractured skull and other injures.

    Brendan Farrelly
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

  • #2
    I think they may have gotten the order mixed up, the story i heard is that they brought him to the regional hospital first then had to use the river to navigate home.



    • #3
      maybe, but that doesn't make as good reading!

      whoever let the truth get in the way of a good story!
      An army is power. Its entire purpose is to coerce others. This power can not be used carelessly or recklessly. This power can do great harm. We have seen more suffering than any man should ever see, and if there is going to be an end to it, it must be an end that justifies the cost. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain


      • #4
        VFR Rules!

        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


        • #5
          Visual Flight Rules as oposed to IFR...I follow roads?
          Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


          • #6
            well in honesty it happens everywhere, i remember talking to US Army UH60 Blackhawk crews a few years ago about coming to Salthill from Germany and they stated that the followed roads and railway through the UK and Ireland as they did a stop over in Scotland for fuel.


            • #7
              theres a really famous story of an air corps crew flying in fog and totally disorientated

              they seen a cross road and had to winch the winchie down to

              read the road signs
              Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
              Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
              The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
              The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
              The best lack all conviction, while the worst
              Are full of passionate intensity.


              • #8
                Well done to the CG boys for an impressive feat, but they should not need to resort to desperate measures in this day and age. Just shows up the lack of IFR nav equipment provided for our helicopters these days.

                hedgehog, I thought for a moment you were going to speak of the lost Dauphin. Could very easily have happened again.
                If you have to do it, you always have to do it right. Either it makes a difference, or it’s good practice so that when it does make a difference, it gets done right.



                • #9
                  Fog is a tricky one even on instruments and with the use of bGPS and nav got to be able to see something bewfore you can land it..also the danger of spatial disorienation.

                  A certain Dauphin had all the nessacary instruments taining GPS etc..andw ere still defeated by fog..and thers is eveidence to sugest the winch man was being used as an exta set of eyes there two.

                  Even ships with verystabe and accurated radars and slow moving close up lookouts in fog....

                  Posssibly one of the more dangerous types o weather..fog!
                  Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


                  • #10
                    Anecdote time: the Donners have often "navigated" the old-fashioned way when flying the Alouette up to and from the Border, in chancy weather.More than once, they came very close to destruction and made the wise decision to land in a field and wait til better weather. The grave yards are full of aircrew killed by press-on-itis.EVERY pilot has chanced his neck and most are lucky and get away with it. I once related the story of D248's fate to two ex-RAF heli old boys with multiple thousands of heli hours between them.They both, spontaneously, replied that they would simply have lowered the winchman after having come to the hover at 50 feet near the bottom of the ILS.They would already have been over the runway.The two oul sweats had done such things in thier days as Chinook/Wessex/Puma pilots. So maybe...