In the air force, no mission receives greater priority than the mission of mercy. When lives are at stake, all resources available are dedicated to the task. Aircrew, ground crew, paramedics, doctors, mountaineers, navy divers, policemen and trained civilian volunteers are rapidly organised into a rescue team and dispatched with all haste to the disaster scene. This requires training, preparedness, dedication, determination and courage. Rescue missions are often flown in weather conditions that would normally ground all aircraft. Scenarios are as diverse as high-rise fires, mountain, flood and maritime rescues, to white-outs in the snows of Antarctica.
Originally published in 1999 as Fire, Flood and Ice, this updated edition includes yet more spectacular South African Air Force (SAAF) search and rescue missions, both military and civilian. Included is the remarkable rescue of all 581 people from the ill-fated liner Oceanos, for which the author was mentioned in dispatches for his role as commander of the rescue operation. Also new are heart-warming accounts of SAAF rescues during the devastating floods of 2000 in Mozambique, which captured the world's attention.
About the Author
Dick Lord joined the Royal Navy in 1958, where he qualified as a fighter pilot. Flying Sea Venoms and Sea Vixens, he served on the aircraft carriers Centaur, Victorious, Hermes and Ark Royal. He did a two-year exchange tour with the US Navy, flying A4 Skyhawks and F4 Phantoms out of San Diego, California. He returned to South Africa in early'70s and joined the South African Air Force (SAAF). He is also author of Vlamgat-The Story of the Mirage F1 in the South African Air Force, From Tailhooker to Mudmover and From Fledgling to Eagle-The South African Air Force during the Border War. He is retired and lives near Cape Town with his wife June.