View Full Version : helicopters

01-21-2007, 04:36 AM
Can anyone help me with info on helicopter ship rescues at sea? I need to know how people stranded on a disabled ship would be lifted to safety, how long it might take, how tricky is it, one person at a time? What does the seat or sling look like? Is one buckled in across the shoulder, or seat belt? - When are seas too rough to allow for rescue etc. Anything and everything on this topic! Thanks.

Sandi LeFaucheur
01-21-2007, 04:58 AM
Go here: http://www.sailtrain.co.uk/seamanship/helicopter.htm

Evidently, you can download a video of a rescue. (I didn't because I didn't want to take 2 minutes downloading it.)

If you google "helicopter sea rescue", you're bound to find lots of info.

01-21-2007, 04:58 AM
> I need to know how people stranded on a disabled
> ship would be lifted to safety,

helicopter hovers over, sling is winched down,
maybe with a safety guy attached or maybe a
swimmer jumps in the water. He makes sure the
people are safely in the sling and tell the guys
to winch people up.

> how long it might take, how tricky is it,

There was some good footage going around
from Hurricane Katrina rescues via helicopter.
Maybe google video or youtube would have
some clips.

>one person at a time?

one person and maybe the rescue guy

>What does the seat or sling look like?

I think the rescue guy is wearing something
that looks like a rappeling harness and the
person he's bringing up gets put in a simple
sling that he can't slip out of.

>Is one buckled in across the shoulder, or seat belt?

I don't think its a hard seat. I think its a sling made
of nylon straps, like a rappelling harness.

>- When are seas too rough to allow for rescue etc.

It wouldn't be the seas, it would be the wind
and visibility that would ground you.

>Anything and everything on this topic!

I have flown helicopters (nothing fancy),
if you have some basic questions about flying one.

01-21-2007, 05:39 AM
>Anything and everything on this topic!

Oh, just thought of this. They are fricken LOUD!

When the chopper is winching people in,
don't have characters yammering on in conversation.
About all you'll be able to do is hand gestures
like "thumbs up" and big shouts.

THE ROPE! (points)
(puts hand to ear, shakes head)
(looks, sees rope, gives thumbs up)

01-22-2007, 07:48 PM
Hi eslater. I was on the QE2 when they had to airlift off a crew member with appendicitis. They waited until the ship was a day off of the coast of England, in order to be within range of the helicopter from land. An RAF jet spotted the ship and then swooped down right next to us a couple of times to insure it was the correct target for the helicopter. The wanted to make sure of the location of the ship since it was near the limit of the helicopter's range.

They attempted to land the helicopter on the helipad on the top deck several times but they couldn't because the seas were too rough and the ship was rolling a lot, plus it was quite windy. They lowered a yellow person-sized frame lined with black stuff (presumably padding) with a lot of slack rope, and hovered while the patient was strapped into it. No one was lowered with it. I guess they can count on the crew of the QE2, which has plenty of experience with this. Then they winched up the rope and swung him inside the helicopter.

There was quite a delay between the jet spotting and the arrival of the helicopter--maybe 45 minutes. There were a few minutes between each of the attempts to land the 'copter. Once they lowered the gurney (don't know if this is the proper term?), it took a couple of minutes to strap the guy in and a few more to raise it to the helicopter. Then they took off really fast.

ETA: just saw your question about what it looked like. It was flat and obviously designed to stabilize the patient lying down. They'd use this for sure this if there were injuries to the back or neck, or internal injuries. This was a medical rescue operation, so it might be different from a regular rescue. I've seen video of a sling in which the person is seated--but it looks like you've already got some links to stuff like that.

01-22-2007, 08:37 PM
Just a suggestion...

If you haven't seen The Perfect Storm, it has an exciting helicopter rescue in it. The events are real, but I don't know how realistic the depiction was. You might try to contact the Coast Guard and use the scene as a reference, see if they say it was just Hollywood or if it can be that intense.

Please post what you find. I'm a fan of helicopters (or anything else that flies) and would like to hear some facts on this.