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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July 2005, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Helicopter makes 1,000th rescue
Coastguard helicopter (generic)
There are four coastguard helicopter operations across the British Isles
A diver suffering from the bends has become the 1,000 person to be rescued by a coastguard helicopter.

The crew of the helicopter based in Portland, Dorset, winched the diver on board on Friday night.

The coastguard said the diver from the boat "Killer Prawn" had become tangled up with a surface marker buoy and had to make "a rapid ascent".

The helicopter, Whiskey Bravo, which became operational 10 years ago, airlifted the man to Poole hospital.

Whiskey Bravo - the facts
The helicopter is a Sikorsky S61N with a crew of four
The crew includes two pilots, one winchman and a winch operator.
It can carry 19 passengers
It has a maximum speed of 131 knots
It covers a coastline of 100 miles

He was assessed by a specialist dive doctor and taken to a recompression chamber.

Maddy Davey, Portland coastguard's duty watch manager, said: "Whiskey Bravo has been operational for almost 10 years and we are pleased to announce their 1,000 person to be winched."

The Portland Coastguard helicopter is one of four coastguard helicopter operations around the British Isles.

The others operate in Stornoway in the Western Isles of Scotland, Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles, and Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire.


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