The RAF Sea King flies past as rescuers train with one of the new Sikorksky S-92s. Photo: John Hulse

The RAF Sea King flies past as rescuers train with one of the new Sikorksky S-92s. Photo: John Hulse

A rescue team leader managed to capture the old and the new as he was joined by volunteers from across Snowdonia for a training session.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation leader John Hulse took this picture of an RAF Sea King flying past the new civilian search and rescue helicopter that will take over the role next month.

About 50 volunteer team members from across north Wales gathered at the weekend for training and familiarisation with one of the new Coastguard-controlled Sikorsky S-92 aircraft that will be operated by private-sector company Bristow from a new base at Caernarfon.

The training session was taking place on Sunday when the familiar yellow Sea King of C Flight of 22 Squadron from RAF Valley flew past the Ogwen Valley MRO base.

The red and white Coastguard liveried helicopters will become operational from Caernarfon on 1 July.

The move is the latest in the staged introduction of the civilian search and rescue service, which will replace the ageing military Sea Kings operated by the RAF and Royal Navy, which have taken part in thousands of mountain rescue operations since they first went into service in the 1970s.

An RAF Valley Sea King took part in the major operation at Llanberis on Sunday when two men died and two others were rescued from waterfalls on the Afon Arddu.

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