The Royal Air Force's Nimrod MR2 Log-Range Maritime Patrol aircraft, as well as the Sea King search and rescue helicopter, make a welcome return in my latest painting: 'Top Cover', watercolour, 53 x 34 cm.
The scene was painted as a commission based on the customer's memory of his participation in this rescue. The sky and the sea-state are as they were, and the ship is the actual ship involved. The Sea King is winching an injured trawlerman to safety for the transfer back to hospital in Cornwall, some 200 miles away. At this distance, the Sea King is at the very limit of its range and far out to sea, so the Nimrod is flying a 'Top Cover' mission to assure the safety of the helicopter. A Nimrod, loaded with a bomb-bay full of dinghies and search and rescue apparatus was on standby every day of the year at RAF Kinloss and these missions were common, although not always in this beautiful weather! The Nimrod will stay with the Sea King until it makes landfall near Land's End, then depart home to RAF Kinloss in northern Scotland to resume its standby.
In my past career I have flown many search and rescue missions on the Nimrod, but the real heroes here are the helicopter crew, and especially the man or woman on the end of the rope. These people put themselves and their helicopters in some very risky places in some atrocious weather and seas. In this painting I wanted to convey this, with its focus on the rescue itself, as well as the huge combined effort which has gone into bringing this injured man to safety from far out to sea. I hope you like the result - a limited edition of 100 prints are available. Please see my aviation gallery for details.
A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.