RAF’s Newest Submarine Hunter Isn’t Always Hunting, Nailed Its First Rescue Mission

RAF's Poseidon went on its first Search and Rescue mission 7 photos
Photo: Royal Air Force
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Two transatlantic rowers were successfully rescued at the end of last week after their vessel had capsized, and a Royal Air Force (RAF) Poseidon aircraft was an important part of the rescue efforts. It was a premiere for the Poseidon, out on its first mission of this type.
On August 19, the Poseidon crew of the “Guernsey’s Own” 201 Squadron was waiting for a mission that was planned for the evening. But their plans got deviated because of an emergency that required their assistance early that day. It turned out that a rowing vessel had sunk, and the two crew members were struggling to make it to safety on a life raft.

A large commercial ship, the Nordic Qinngua, was headed towards them. Meanwhile, the Poseidon acted as a link between everyone involved. When it arrived on the scene, the aircraft crew established visual contact with the life raft, communicated with the merchant ship, and then sent essential information to the UK mission controllers that were coordinating the rescue mission.

Although, according to Flight Lieutenant Daz Williams, Mission Commander, “the conditions made rescue very difficult,” the two rowers were eventually recovered by the ship and brought back safely. The event also marked the first Search and Rescue operation for RAF’s Poseidon, which was luckily a success.

A maritime patrol aircraft, the Poseidon specializes in searching and tracking enemy submarines with the help of its acoustic sensor systems and advanced radars for high-resolution mapping. Armed with 5 powerful torpedoes, this versatile aircraft is also fast, able to hit 490 knots (564 mph/907 kph). It’s based on the Boeing 787-800, and RAF has ordered a total of 9 of these powerful aircraft from Boeing.

The 9 Poseidon aircraft now form a fresh submarine-hunter fleet based at RAF Lossiemouth. According to RAF, this is just another “defense layer” for anti-submarine warfare, in addition to the Type 23 submarine-hunting frigates, A and T-boat hunter-killers, and Merlin Mk2 helicopters.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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