Solent sea victims thank flight crew at HMS Daedalus in 1986

The search and rescue team with Philip White at HMS Daedalus.
The search and rescue team with Philip White at HMS Daedalus.

Fireman Philip White became the 1,000th person to be saved by the Solent search and rescue flight based at HMS Daedalus, Lee-on-the-Solent. 

But a Champagne celebration at Daedalus was overshadowed by a meeting at which the flight’s future was to be decided. 

Mr White and Johann Elst were winched to safety after their 16ft dinghy began sinking in the Solent, off Hill Head. They went to Daedalus to meet the crew who saved their lives. 

The Royal Navy search and rescue helicopters began flying from Daedalus in 1973 after the RAF base was moved from Thorney Island to Scotland.  Pictured are (l to r) CPO Air Crewman Graham Watson, Lt Dave Kelly and Leading Air Crewman Buck Rogers offering Philip a range of headgear for his flight.