New Coastguard Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters at Lee-on-the-Solent and Portland have been grounded at night.

New Coastguard Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters at Lee-on-the-Solent and Portland have been grounded at night. Rescue coverage during the hours of darkness will instead be maintained by Sikorsky S-61 helicopters that were withdrawn in March.

AW139s will remain grounded at night until problems with the operation of specialist onboard equipment have been resolved by the manufacturer. “Daytime flying is unaffected”, stressed the MCA, “and AW139s will continue to undertake search and rescue missions during daylight hours.”