771 Royal Naval Air Squadron to be decommissioned

771 Royal Naval Air Squadron, based in Cornwall, is being commemorated by BBC in a docu feature to be aired before its decommissioning on 22nd March. One of its most notable rescue was Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon, after his race yacht Drum capsized near Falmouth in Cornwall in the year 1985.

He was cornered in the overturned boat for forty minutes with seawater rising across him, the Duran Duran member told that he looked into the eyes of death as he awaited rescue. When he listened to the sound of helicopter, he knew that he was saved.

The singer made some comments as he looked at the footage of his rescue for the very first time as part of BBC Documentary regarding the helicopter crew from the 771 Royal Naval Air Squadron, which rescued around fifteen thousand people during its service of over sixty years.
Le Bon paid tribute to his rescuers in Rescue 193, stating that these are the people who face extraordinary danger on a daily basis. He is grateful to 771 Squadron for saving his life, for saving the lives of the other people on Drum.

Larry Slater, the rescue diver from 771 Sea King helicopter, was the member of the squadron who swam under the yacht into the small air pocket where Le Bon along with 4 others were trapped and they led them to safety. Le Bon almost did not make it. He explained that he had to go down to come up. He dived in and started going up – as he came up the waistband of his long johns got caught and pulled down. After a bit of struggle, he managed to make it to the helicopter.

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