The Porto Santo based, Portuguese Air Force (FAP) squadron completed two air-sea rescue missions over the Christmas weekend (25th and 26th).
The first alert came at 6.55 pm on Christmas Day, when the EH-101 Merlin and team were dispatched to rescue a 54-year-old woman from a British ship, 255km northwest of Montijo.
The second mission, took place in the early hours of the 26th, when the EH-101 Merlin team were scrambled to rescue five people (four men and one woman) from a sinking sailboat 200 km off the southeast coast of Porto Santo.
All five were suffering from hypothermia, and on arrival in Porto Santo were immediately transferred to the local medical centre. The whole operation took approximately three and three-quarter hours.
As yet, no one knows why the sailboat started to sink.
The Portuguese Air Force is on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They make a difference!
info at madeira-weekly.com