Search & Rescue (SAR) operations provide a rapid response to critical life or death emergencies that require immediate action due to their location at sea or in the mountains. 


Babcock employs over 500 specialised crew members and flew more than 8,800 hours of SAR operations in 2016, rescuing nearly 2,700 people across Europe and Australia. In addition, we operate specifically configured aircraft for the execution of maritime SAR. The AW139 is the aircraft of choice for current SAR operations and for long range search, surveillance and pollution detection missions, Babcock operates the Airbus CN-235 aircraft with mission specific equipment.


The combination of our well trained professionals and specialised aircraft mean that our maritime SAR operations have the ability to respond rapidly to emergencies in critical conditions, ultimately contributing to saving many lives.


Babcock is also a pioneer in the establishment of SAR projects such as SASEMAR, the national SAR service in Spain, which requires the operation and maintenance of 16 aircraft and involves over 275 pilots, rescuers and engineers.

Our crews fight against pollution and environmental damage to the sea, monitor the distribution of naval warnings, provide maritime traffic assistance and control and operate tugboat services.


Highly-trained professionals

SAR operations are executed above the sea, in very complicated situations or hard-to-reach locations, and must often provide in-aircraft medical evaluations. Our crew members undertake exhaustive training as a result of this high level of specialisation to guarantee the maximum safety during operations.


Strong heritage

In August 1990, Babcock were the first company in Spain, and the second in Europe, to commence SAR activities; our two helicopters were the first to fly the SAR service for the Xunta de Galicia, working closely with the Civil Protection Service and ambulance services, as well as providing maritime coast surveillance activities. We are one of the most internationally recognised SAR services in Europe.