Search and rescue

The Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm provide Search and Rescue cover to large sections of the United Kingdom coastline, 24 hours a day and 365 days per year, typically at 15 minutes notice.

They provide a 24/7 search and rescue capability 365 days a year, saving countless lives on the mountains, at sea, on the roads and also supply specialist medical evacuation from England and Scotland’s remote islands.

HMS Gannet, based at Prestwick in Ayrshire, is the only Royal Navy aviation asset north of Somerset. The men and women of the unit cover an enormous area of the west of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, from the Lake District in the south to Edinburgh in the east, and Ben Nevis and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula in the north to Northern Ireland in the west – including many of Scotland’s remote islands – and more than 200 miles out into the Atlantic from the Northern Irish coast.

In Cornwall SAR coverage provided by 771 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose extends over the equally hazardous and extremely busy areas of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, the Western English Channel and the Southwest Approaches. Typical missions include long range medical evacuation from ships at sea, assistance to vessels in distress, cliff fallers, swimmers, divers and surfers, to name just a few.

The men and women of the Search and Rescue units serve on a frontline, albeit that it is one within the UK, in the mountains and above the seas of Scotland and England.

What we are doing

Flying rescue missions

Why we are there

To save lives

Providing humanitarian assistance

When natural or man-made disasters occur, a country’s infrastructure and resources can be crippled. With loss of electricity, shortage of food and water supplies, and human lives at risk – responding to such life-threatening scenarios is central to the Royal Navy’s ethos. Because we have the skills, equipment and know-how to go anywhere, regardless of potential damage to local infrastructure.

Location UK

Four locations are being used around the United Kingdom


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771 Naval Air Squadron

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RNAS Culdrose

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HMS Gannet

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771 NAS Motto

non nobis solum - not unto us alone


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