The Irish Defence Forces gets five new Dauphin helicopters.
In the last twenty-four years, the Alouettes have carried out over a thousand search and rescue operations, saved 333 lives, and flown over 1,700 air ambulance missions. Now the job of search and rescue will be carried out on board three new Dauphin helicopters, with a further two operating with the naval ship LÉ Eithne.
The Dauphins were officially brought into operation by the Minister for Defence Michael Noonan.
Commandant Frank Russell of the Search and Rescue Squadron spoke to RTÉ News about how they would now be able to carry out rescues at sea.
It is our intention to carry out missions up to one hundred miles off the coast and beyond it if necessary.
According to Commandant Russell, the most important advance for future operations is a new navigational computer which will allow the aircraft to locate the person in need of assistance with tremendous accuracy. The new Dauphins also have a sophisticated radar on board which is able to scan the sea ahead of the aircraft.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 August 1987. The reporter is Tom McCaughren.