825/2022 Vessel Collision - Persons In Water - 3 Flights / 1 day


The crew were alerted at 0934hrs by Guernsey Coastguard and requested to assist with a search of the West cost of Jersey for three fishermen following a collision between their fishing vessel and a commercial freight vessel.

Three separate sorties were flown with just under seven hours flight time, covering 713 track miles - an area of approximately 175 square miles.

The collision was reported to have occurred at 0530hrs. Lions' Pride was with Britten Norman in Lee On Solent at the time, and was returned to Guernsey in order to join the search.

Coming off blocks at 1010hrs, Lions’ Pride departed from Guernsey on runway 09 at 1020hrs and was tasked to search from the centre of Manche Grid 303 to the centre of Grid 304, advancing south.

Arriving on scene at 1037hrs a stepladder search pattern was established using west / east search legs at an altitude of 500ft AMSL at half mile track spacing at a speed of 90kts. The sea was calm and the visibility excellent.

Other aerial assets were assisting, and as Rescue Fox (a French aircraft) was operating in adjacent airspace at a similar altitude Lions' Pride implemented standard deconfliction procedures.

The search progressed south until reaching the North West corner of Jersey at around 1205hrs, when Jersey Coastguard requested a search of the eastern half of Manche Grid 272. The search of this area was completed at 1245hrs and the aircraft returned to Guernsey for fuelling and crew change, landing at 1250hrs.

Following refuelling and a crew change, Lions’ Pride departed Guernsey from runway 09 at 1335 and was requested to search the western half of Manche Grid 273. Arriving on scene at 1350, a search pattern was established using north / south search legs advancing east. As visibility remained excellent, the search was flown at 90kts with half mile track spacing and an altitude of 500ft AMSL.

After searching the allocated area, Jersey Coastguard retasked the aircraft to search the eastern halves of Manche Grids 243 and 213. A search pattern was established using north / south search legs advancing east, using 10 mile search legs to cover both grids.

On completion of this search area, Lions’ Pride returned to Guernsey for refuelling and crew change, landing on runway 09 at 1525hrs.

The final sortie departed Guernsey from runway 09 at 1610hrs and Jersey Coastguard requested a search starting at 49 degrees 18 minutes North, 002 degrees 35.5 minutes West to 49 degrees 07.7 minutes North, 002 degrees 27.8 minutes West and advancing west. This gave search legs of 10 miles, roughly from north west to south east.

Arriving on scene at 1620hrs, due to fading light the search pattern was flown at 1,000ft AMSL using the infra red camera. Fifteen legs were flown and Jersey Coastguard requested a search of the west coast from Corbiere to Grosnez before standing down.

Throughout the search various marker buoys and sea birds on the surface were observed, along with the many vessels assisting in the search. The allocated search areas were not close to the wreck site, hence no debris was located by Lions’ Pride. Radio communications were loud and clear.

On-Scene Coordinator: Jersey Coast Guard

Tags: Launch reports