Sad farewell to 202 Squadron’s iconic Sea King

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Alnwick said an emotional farewell to RAF Boulmer’s 202 Squadron this morning as an iconic yellow Sea King performed a slow flypast over the town.

Crowds waved and cheered as the Sea King flew over the Bondgate Tower in Alnwick at 11am and then over Sainsburys at the southern end of town.

A flypast had been planned for last Sunday’s parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain but cancelled when the Sea King was called out on an operation, disappointing onlookers.

It was the last planned flypast before the disbandment of 202 Squadron this week and the end of the search and rescue service being based in Northumberland and residents have been sharing their memories. The crew for the flight were Squadron Leader Iain Macfarlane, Flt Lt Giles Smith, Flt Sgt Andy Roland and Sgt Dylan Burns.

The final day of operations is on Wednesday (September 30), after which the Sea Kings will fly out of the base for good.

Video by Gazette reader Andy Hunt

The RAF Boulmer 202 Squadron Sea King helicopter's farewell flight over Alnwick. Picture by Adam Sparrow.

The RAF Boulmer 202 Squadron Sea King helicopter's farewell flight over Alnwick. Picture by Adam Sparrow.

The Sea King flies over Alnwick Playhouse. Picture by Adam Sparrow

The Sea King flies over Alnwick Playhouse. Picture by Adam Sparrow

202 Squadron's final official flypast. Picture by Adam Sparrow

202 Squadron's final official flypast. Picture by Adam Sparrow

Farewell ... and thank you. Picture by Adam Sparrow

Farewell ... and thank you. Picture by Adam Sparrow