A LIFEBOATMAN who is part of Falmouth's RNLI crew combined passion for the water with his other love – flying – to deliver some vital kit.

The UK Civil Air Patrol, known as 'the volunteers in the air’, responded to a request from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) to transport Cetacean Satellite Tagging Kits to locations in the UK, close to ‘hotspots’ where whales, dolphins and porpoises are known to beach and to endanger themselves.

When one of these mammals is saved it is tagged before being returned to the sea.

Four of a total of eight tracking kits were transported from Perranporth, where they’d been assembled by the BDMLR veterinary support coordinator, Natalie Waddington, to Turweston in Buckinghamshire, from where they will be flown to Newcastle, Perth and Inverness.

Once the distribution is complete there will be two kits in Cornwall, one in Devon, one in Newcastle, one in Perth, one in Inverness, one in Moray and spare kit at the BDMLR HQ in Uckfield in East Sussex.

The pilot for the flight from Perranporth to Turweston was Carl Beardmore, a former technician with the RAF who served mostly on Nimrods, the ‘Mighty Hunter’, at RAF St Mawgan.

Carl then joined the RNLI in 1992.

At Newquay he was a helm on inshore lifeboats, including the Atlantic 75.

He then moved to Falmouth, where he crewed on the Arun class offshore lifeboat before being promoted to navigator and then coxswain on the larger Severn class.

During his lifeboat service he has been both a trainer and an examiner and he is now a senior assessor and trainer in England with responsibility, together with a team of eleven, for 119 of the RNLI’s 238 lifeboat stations.

He retains his ‘hands on’ lifeboat skills as a volunteer coxswain with the Falmouth offshore lifeboat.

After the flight Carl said: “After a lifetime in the air and at sea I was privileged and delighted to support the vital work of the BDMLR by delivering their satellite tracking kits to Turweston on the first leg of their distribution throughout England and Scotland.”

Natalie added: “Once a veterinary surgeon attaches a tag to the dorsal fin we can follow the animal over subsequent days and weeks to track their progress and, most importantly, to make sure that they haven’t re-stranded elsewhere.

"We were very excited when we heard that the UK Civil Air Patrol could help us by transporting this valuable equipment throughout the UK.”