The UK will increase its search and rescue (SAR) stations, it has been announced, overturning a earlier descision to reduce the number of rescue helicopter crews.

In 2008 the UK Ministry of Defence agreed in principle to reduce search and rescue helicopter crews from 28 to 24 but due to the risk involved the decision has now been overturned and crews will be restored to 28, UK Minister for the Armed Forces Bill Rammell confirmed.

“We aim for this to be completed by early summer 2010. In the meantime, we need to implement some temporary measures, but I have every confidence that these can be managed in a way which will not affect the service we provide,” he said.

Until levels are restored the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre will manage plnned closures of certain bases to ensure that arrangements are in place for full cover of the UK at night.