After the ship “Nazaret II”, which has been stationed ashore at Gando Air Base since 2015, is the main means of the maritime service of Wing 46 of the Air Force, it is being used again in training missions for rescuers and SAR helicopter crews on the air force, especially in Atlantic waters Canary Islands.
In 1955, the Air Force started the Air Search and Rescue Service (SAR) on the Canary Islands in this base, with which boats were connected from the start. This was the case of the motor glider “Nazaret I”, which carried material to the airfields of the Air Force (Aaiún and Villa Cisneros) in what was then the province of the Spanish Sahara. At the same time, the increasing number of rescue operations for boats with helicopters, first with the Sikorsky S-55 and later with the AS332B Super Puma, which would give way to the AS332C1e in recent years, requires crane training, after which the procedure is carried out either an injured or an injured person sick person is rescued from the deck of a ship. In 1991 the new fiberglass ship “Nazaret II” was put into service for these tasks.
This unit was acquired in 1990 with funds from SAR headquarters along with its twins, the Avante. Delivered to the San Javier Air Force Base (Murcia) and deployed for the benefit of the AGA (Academia General del Aire) and Pollensa, which serves at the air force base of the same name on Mallorca in the US state. The crews of SAR 801 and 803 squadrons based in Son San Juan (Mallorca) and Cuatro Vientos (Madrid) carry out their crane exercises. Even in these decades the ?? Nazareth II ?? It served the maritime security of the base, patrolled the coast of the Bay of Gando and took personnel from the air police of the 46th wing on board. Occasionally, rescue missions for boats in distress were carried out near the base.
In 2015 the 130 hp Volvo Penta brand engines, which in their prime the ?? Nazareth II ?? (EA-03) At 17 knots they started to cause a lot of problems, so it was decided to put it on the ground to fix them. But the work was delayed due to the lack of budget and the decline in rotary wing resources in this sad time until the arrival of the said AS332C1e. Once capacities were restored with the helicopters, the 82nd Group rescuers’ crane test operations increased, requiring them to request tenders for boats from other government agencies such as those of the Navy and Maritime Rescue, which is waiting for those funds to be available and brought to where they are.
Given the need for training, a loan has been approved for the recovery of the boat, mainly used for an in-depth inspection of its engines by Power Marina SL, Volvo Penta’s representative in Spain, to purchase a radio equipped with a MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Indentity) and equip it with a number of modern security elements. At the same time, the employees of Ala 46 complete the relevant courses that enable them to steer the boat with maximum safety guarantee.
It is expected that work will begin soon and that the ?? Nazareth II ?? to go back into operation next year. We are facing an initiative that has already been started in the other two “twin boats”. in the origin, since ?? Nazareth II ?? (EA-03) was completely housed in the group’s maritime service. Together with some soldiers from the 82nd Group, these personnel formed the boat’s crew, which consists of a skipper, a mechanic and a seaman. Likewise, these professionals continued to operate the maritime service with a number of semi-rigid boats or RHIB (Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat), especially for safety tasks, although this material makes it impossible to carry out the aforementioned crane training due to its size.
The “Nazaret II” enables the 82 Group to restore its autonomous ability to carry out crane exercises for a very small investment, saving time and money. Once the boat is put back into service, you can:
-Simulation of boat rescue operations (in accordance with the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Convention), interception of boats of drug traffickers, assistance with illegal immigration, etc.
-Cover and safety during the regular training practices of the crews in the SURMAR exercises (survival in the SEA).
– Provide cover and facilitate the recovery of material during training to launch raft chains from the D.4 plane of the 82 group.
– Likewise, his supporting role will be very important when it comes to jumping out of the D.4 of the PJ (Pararescue) of the EZAPAC (Parachute Sapper Squad) into the ocean before these professionals report on the formations of fighter-bombers on long trans-ocean journeys to participate in the Red Flag exercise taking place in Nellis, Nevada-USA. (Julio Maíz Sanz)
Photography: The boat ?? Nazareth II ?? It will soon return to its natural element, the Atlantic Ocean (Photo: Julio Maíz / ).
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