Rescue Buoys in the English Channel
Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:03 AM
Has anyone ever seen a photo or drawing of, I want to say, barges? life buoys? life boats? that the British had moored? set? in the channel for downed airmen? I once saw an artist's rendering of one of these things. It looked quite spacious, with a bed, and was designed to accomodate/protect a downed airmen from the cold water while waiting to be rescued. Was this something real or make believe?
Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:26 AM
I have an idea that the Germans moored such objects off Holland in the early stages of the war, and that later the RAF also used them, but I have no sources....
Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:15 AM
Posted 05 May 2007 - 07:38 AM
"In the summer skies above the English Channel, battling German and British airmen often found themselves in a special kind of double jeopardy. If they had to bail out of a plane crippled by enemy gunfire, they stood a fair chance of parachuting down into the cold, choppy waters of the English Channel. Both sides lost scores of men to the Channel. But at the outset of the battle, the Germans, with characteristic thoroughness, were far better prepared to salvage their fliers.
The Germans had a fleet of rescue floats anchored a mile or two off the French coast. Each float was equipped with blankets, rations and medical supplies to keep a flier warm and reasonably well until he could be picked up by friendly craft. For men who ditched farther out, standard gear on every Luftwaffe fighter included inflatable dinghies. And each flier carried a container of fluorescine, a brilliant green dye, which, in the water, spread out into a patch of color easily spotted by one of the Luftwaffe's rescue fleet of medically equipped Heinkel-59 seaplanes.
The British at first were more offhand in their rescue efforts. They relied on passing ships, planes that just happened to overfly downed men, and on a fleet of small craft that patrolled the coastal waters. Otherwise, British fliers had only their Mae West life jackets--and the hope that one of their squadron mates would sight them and radio their location to shore.
So many British fliers were lost in June and July that special observation planes were finally assigned to locate men and relay their positions to offshore craft. The task of spotting grew perceptibly easier when the RAF issued flares and--emulating the Germans--fluorescine dye. Results were good: though air casualties rose on both sides as the fighting intensified in August and September, fewer British airmen were lost to the sea."
An excerpt from Air University Review Vol. XXVIII No. 2 January-February 1977 reads as follows:
"In October 1940, the Germans introduced the Sea Rescue Float as one remedy for the changing needs of the air war. These buoy-type floats contained bunks, blankets, dry clothes, food, water and distress signals. Their distinctive yellow paint made them visible for many miles. Periodically, rescue boats as well as Heinkels checked the buoys. Since they attracted any distressed aviator, British and German alike, the RAF also sent launches to make occasional checks. The hapless airmen who made it to one of these floats never knew if they might be rescued by their own forces or picked up by the enemy and interned for the rest of the war."
Consequently, there is a reference number but, the Notes page does not appear at the bottom of the essay. I saw an artists' rendering of the inside of one of these things when I was a teen. I would like to find this again. Does anyone else know of or have any pictures of them? Also, I found a short reference to the German (if I remember correctly) Sea Rescue Float as the Cuckoo. However, all of my ques online, including "Cuckoo", have yielded nothing.
Posted 06 May 2007 - 12:05 AM
Posted 06 May 2007 - 05:19 AM
Good news - I found a photo of the outside!
The page below is taken from the 9-volume "The Second Great War: A Standard History", and the caption explains things.
Note the number on the hull, ASR-10, which might be the basis of further research.
For further information, the National Archives at Kew has three files which may be of interest:
- AIR 2/4721 ROYAL AIR FORCE: Rescue Services (Code B, 67/33): Air/Sea rescue: floats 1941-1946
- AIR 2/4744 ROYAL AIR FORCE: Rescue Services (Code B, 67/33): Air/Sea rescue: positioning of floats 1941-1944
- AVIA 13/1097 Transmitter type T1299 (rescue float) 1941-1943
Posted 06 May 2007 - 08:24 AM
Posted 06 May 2007 - 10:31 AM
Wow, the British float pictured here is quite different from the German one I have in Time-Life The Battle of Great Britain. The German float pictured there looks like it was built strictly for the purpose while the British version pictured here is undoubtably a modified launch of some sort I'm guessing. Interesting picture though.
Luckily, the vessel in my book turns out to have been preserved at the Scottish Maritime Museum.
She was built in 1942, and after being converted to a yacht in the 1950s, has now been restored to her wartime condition. The above photo comes from http://www.undiscove...seum/index.html and her history and a larger photo is at http://www.shipspres...n/docs/44.1.doc which says:
Air Sea Rescue “10” (ASR 10) was built in 1942 by Carrier Engineering Ltd as an experimental rescue vessel. She is of all welded steel construction, with a steel superstructure and mast. Her hull is brightly painted in red and yellow bands (yellow is the colour most easily seen at sea).
ASR 10 was never fitted with an engine - her function was to be moored as a dumb barge at strategic intervals around the coast (in particular under the flight path of aircraft returning from the continent) during the second world war, to provide emergency shelter for the crews of downed 'planes. She is designed to be easy to board and is fitted with six bunks, emergency rations and signalling apparatus to attract attention.
These "floats" were built for the RAF and maintained by the Air Sea Rescue Service. They were not found to be particularly useful - they could only be moored close to shore in positions where an aircraft in trouble could usually be spotted anyway. Few airmen were rescued from the floats - but one did provide shelter for the survivors of a German aircraft shot down over the English Channel.
ASR 10 has been restored to original condition after conversion to yacht in 1950s.
Dimensions: Length 30ft6ins, breadth 9ft6ins.
Construction: All steel welded construction. No engines or rigging.
Next time you are in Scotland(!), you could visit the museum and take some photos of the inside
Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:13 AM
Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:12 AM
Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:36 AM
Posted 04 October 2007 - 02:41 PM
The German Rescue Buoy, WWII Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 12, November 19, 1942 (Lone Sentry)
- Fred Wilson likes this
Posted 04 October 2007 - 04:19 PM
Posted 10 October 2007 - 01:36 AM
Question: Can anybody get a fix on the bob-ma.org url posted above Mock26's picture of a Rescue Buoy????? OR, does anybody recognize this url and what the "new" one may be? Thanks for taking the time.
Posted 10 October 2007 - 09:51 PM
Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:45 PM
A Rettungsbojen that got loose from its moorings and drifted onto the coast of England.
Posted 11 October 2007 - 10:12 PM
Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:45 PM
Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:56 PM
Dear friends of Forum:
Do you know if the german U-Boats have a similar system or almost a rescue buoy onboard?.
At I know, in the beginning of the WW2, this devices are retirated....
U-Historia, Ubootwaffe 1939-1945 History of UBootwaffe in Spanish
http://www.forospyware.com In Spanish
Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:20 AM
Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:24 AM
found this pic..
Edited by sniper1946, 28 September 2010 - 09:34 AM.
Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:30 AM
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