PHOTO – Helicopter and winchman on exercise

By Miss Edinburgh

Believe it or not,  I actually sometimes venture outside Edinburgh.  Yes, I love Auld Reekie and hold it dear in my heart, but there is a whole world out there full of adventure which I also love exploring.

After a break in the Hebrides, I began my journey back to Edinburgh yesterday and found myself on a routine ferry journey with a touch of added excitement.

Helicopter approaching

Our Captain announced that a HM Coastguard helicopter would be performing an exercise above and onto our ferry, whilst it was sailing.  I grabbed my camera, headed out into the cold sea wind and witnessed a fascinating training event.  It was hard enough to hold onto the bow of the boat with  the wind in my face, the downdraft from the rotors and the waves of the sea putting me off balance – so the photos below are as good as they get!

Witnessing the underside up close

It was weird being able to practically see the colour of the pilot’s eyes.  After a few adjustments, the winchman was lowered onto the ferry and unhooked from the line.  He was then whipped up as fast as he arrived and dangled above the sea before returning to the helicopter and flying away.

So close to the pilot

Getting lowered

Approaching the ferry

Safely on board

Back out to sea

A wave goodbye

I have also posted a short youtube clip of the exercise which can be found here.  I know the above doesn’t fall into the category of Edinburgh, or even day trips, but it was certainly a first for me.

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