SAR Meet 2010 : Koksijde rescue...go ahead !


17 to 21 May 2010


Text & Pictures : Serge Van Heertum & Marc Arys - SBAP ©


Not only Belgium, with its 40th Squadron Helicopter, but also our neighbouring countries accomplish similar missions. It is obvious that every country uses its own means to fulfil those missions.
In this respect the idea originated within the 40th Squadron Helicopter to invite different nations for a SAR-meet. Because of this professional competition, ties between the various squadrons are strengthened, directed towards an exchan
ge of ideas and working methods.
The SAR-MEET 2010 does not aim at the judgment of the flying capabilities of the teams but pays attention to the speed and accuracy of the working methods of the crews.
The thread through this whole happening is to emphasize the importance of the team spirit. The competition has been arranged in such a way that a successful result only had a chance in succeeding if the whole team cooperated professionally.

SAR Meet 2010 participation

Belgian Air Component 40 Squadron

Westland Seaking Mk48

Belgian Navy Navy Heli Flight Aerospatial SA316B Alouette III
Italian Air Force 83 Squadron Sikorsky HH-3F "Pelicano"
Spanish Air Force 801 Squadron Aerospatial SA-330J Puma
German Navy  MFG-5 Westland Seaking Mk41
French Air Force EH 01.67 Pyrénées Aerospatial SA-330B Puma
Netherland Air Force 303 Squadron Agusta-Bell AB412SP
Polish Air Force 2 Transport Squadron

Mil-Mi 8RL







Survival competition

On wednesday morning, after the general briefing, the survival competition was held in the open-air swimming pool of Oostduinkerke not far away from Koksijde Air Base.
The competition was d
evided into three stages:
1- After solving correctly a riddle, four crew member of each country had to swim together with their life jacket inflated. On the other side of the pool they had to brace a broken arm of one of the member and get back with him installed in a survival raft.
2- Two member had to follow a line under water with only 50 seconds of oxygen, read 5 different letters and give the word to the judge as fast as possible.
3- A speed run with survival raft for all the team members.
Many people walking at the Belgian sea side had the opportunity to see all those teams in action and it was for them like a summer game festival, but the main point we could see between the participants was certainly the great team spirit !

Survival competition Broken arm
Under water to read the letters Team spirit first of all

Winching competition

The winching competition was planned in the afternoon. The teams and their machine had to complete this exercice also in three stages:
 Pick-up little sand bags
2- Winching out one of the crew as ground guide, then precise winching this bucket onto a small bracket, afterwards picking up a bucket filled with water and put it on a special platform. Then winching the crew member back in.
3- Dropping the sand bags on defined target points.
This competition was the occasion to see the eight teams in action and appreciate their mastery and the helicopters capabilities.

Belgian Air Component


Belgian Navy


Italian Air Force


Spanish Air Force


German Navy


French Air Force


Netherland Air Force


Polish Air Force



The SAR Meet remains a well appreciated exercice, needed to evaluate and compare the different nations capabilities and procedures.
After the competition, all the crews awaited the results and in an international spirited manner.

Palmares :

Navigation award          
Survival award                   
Sport competition award     
Home product award         
Funniest disguisement           
Team spirit award             
"No chance" award               
Winching award                   
German Navy
Belgian Navy
French Air Force
Polish Air Force
Spanish Air Force
Netherland Air Force
Italian Air Force
Belgian Air Component





Best Belgian team of the competition : Belgian Air Component 40 Squadron
And the overall international winner categories : French Air Force team from EH01.67 based at Cazaux.
Congratulations to all the teams and particularly the the "champions" !

Kolonel B. Havermans Base Commander & Maj H. Heyvaert CO 40 Sqn
presenting the award ceremony
The SAR Meet 2010 winners
Congratulations !

SBAP team would like to thank Comopsair IPR team, Belgian Navy PR and all the personal of Koksijde Air Base
for all the facilities and their obligigness
during this press day.



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