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‘Virtual simulation’ to raise help save Portland coastguard helicopter
HELICOPTER enthusiasts hope their project to educate people about lifesavers will help save the Portland helicopter.
Schoolboy Dan Welsh and friends are hoping to create a ‘virtual simulation’ of how the life-saving helicopter works in different weather conditions.
The plan is to create a presentation using a flight simulator to show people how the helicopter works in a range of situations.
Portland coastguard helicopter faces the axe in 2017 under current government plans.
Dan, 14, who lives in Kimmeridge, said: “My family and I are quite connected to the crew and how it operates. Myself and a couple of friends thought it would be nice to have our own tribute towards the work they do.”
Dan added that the flight simulator idea was a way to ‘raise awareness of the work the crews do and that the service shouldn’t be closed’.
Using a flight simulator game Dan and his friends will use the model of helicopter the coastguard use and are getting someone to replicate the HM Coastguard colours on it.
He said: “We are hoping to travel round to various village halls and give people a reasonably realistic insight into what they do – it’s a bit different.”
He added the idea was to try and give an insight into the type of conditions the crews did rescues in.
He said: “It’s obviously not real. It will show the public who aren’t as aware what the service does.”
Dan said that he thought lives could be lost if the aircraft went and that he didn’t think it had been thought through. He added: “I doubt whether it will change the mind of the transport minister but I hope it raises awareness.”
If you would like to know more about Dan’s campaign then go to Facebook and search for Virtually Saving the Portland Coastguard Helicopter.
Petition needs 100,000 signatures
PORTLANDS’ Coastguard helicopter is threatened under current plans to modernise the service.
The Portland rescue helicopter faces the axe in 2017 and operations would be taken over by the Coastguard helicopter at Lee-on-Solent and helicopters from other bases.
In response to this, a campaign was started to save the Portland helicopter, with both an online and paper petition being launched.
If the petition gets more than 100,000 signatures it is likely to spark a debate on the issue in the House of Commons.
The Portland Coastguard Maritime Rescue and Co-ordination Centre on Weymouth harbourside is also threatened with closure due to restructuring of the Coastguard as part of a government initiative aimed at modernising the service.
Currently the online petition has more than 15,000 names on it.
To sign up, visit epetitions.direct. gov.uk/petitions/36619.