The historic heart of Stanley

Photos: Stephen Luxton

Photo: Sam Addison

With special thanks to BFBS for allowing us to use their video.

Photo: Alison Barton

The entire population of Stanley turned out to watch these giants dominate the sky on Saturday morning.  Those present will most likely never see this again – a Chinook carrying a Sea King – it can only be described as spectacular and for many, a very emotional moment.  The Sea King, described as ‘the sound of safety’ by many, has been a reassuring sight – and sound – in our skies for many years.

The Sea King SAR helicopter is our most recent and largest ever donation.  Sadly, without a home to go to, we need to keep her in storage until we are able to provide her and the other larger items in our collection a proper home. 
If you would like to donate towards this project then please email  Every donation, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you to the MoD for the gifting of the helicopter and especially to Commander British Forces, Commodore Darren Bone for bringing this all to fruition.  With thanks also to the MoD for supplying us with the following information.

 XZ593 was built in 1978 and retired on 31st March 2016.  One of 344 built under licence by Westland, she replaced the Westland Whirlwind HAR10 and later the Wessex Helicopter.  

XZ593 has many notable rescues that include rescuing 10 boy scouts in 2003 from Dove Crag in the Lake District when a raging blizzard set in during the night.  The disoriented and cold scouts were in bare feet or socks and knee deep in snow, having abandoned their tents in the hope of reaching the noise of the approaching helicopter.

XZ593 rescue of a Spanish fisherman with severe abdominal pains from the fishing vessel ‘Pescador’ 145 nautical miles north west of the Falklands.  The casualty was recovered with minimal fuss and within a couple of hours was recovering in King Edward Memorial Hospital.

In November 2015 ZK593 was one of two Sea Kings at the vanguard of the operation to save the passengers and crew from the stricken cruise ship Le Boreal. Overall all 347 souls were safely rescued from Le Boreal during the operation, including 79 people that were winched from the ship and two life rafts.

In the last ever rescue by a Sea King; XZ593 conducted the rescue of a fisherman with a double compound leg fracture from the fishing vessel Jose Antonio Nores to KEMH in Stanley.

On 31 Mar 16 XZ593 landed for the last time at Mount Pleasant Airfield which saw the end of the flying career of XZ593 as well as the last ever Sea King flight.  XZ593 will serve as a reminder to everyone of an era when the British military provided a service that was second to none; a service that transcended borders and nationalities; a service that provided comfort, hope and salvation to thousands. 


Some of the Museum staff with XZ593 (L to R) John Fowler, Jennifer Sanchez, Melanie Gilding, Andrea Barlow, Alison Barton, Shirley Hirtle, Tooie Goodwin, Richard Cockwell, Joan Spruce, Sandra Alazia and Marj Adams