Although the Nimrod is most commonly associated with submarine detection and monitoring, another important role it played was in search and rescue. At anytime one aircraft was on a one hour standby for search and rescue duties and carried Lindholme Gear to drop to any stricken mariners. Lindholme Gear is five cylinder-shaped containers joined together by lengths of floating rope.The centre container would house a nine-man inflatable dinghy with the other containers housing survival equipment such as emergency rations and clothing. The Gear would be carried in the weapons bay of the aircraft and dropped in a long line up-wind of the survivors. The Dinghy would inflate on impact and then drift towards the survivors. The survivors could then use the dinghy, haul in the containers of equipment, and await rescue. The Nimrod used fibreglass containers which had a cylindrical fabric bag inside them to carry the emergency supplies and it is this inner bag we are looking at today. This bag is made in a bright yellow to make it easy to see even in the vastness of the ocean:
The bag has a zip around the top edge to allow easy access, with a knotted string attached to the zip pull to make it easier to pull even with cold wet hands:
Details are stenciled on the lid, together with a manufacturing date of 1993:
Because of the search and rescue role, Nimrod aircraft often appeared in the media in connection with major rescue incidents. In August 1979, several Nimrods were involved in locating yachting competitors during the disaster-stricken 1979 Fastnet race and coordinated with helicopters in searches for survivors from lost vessels. In March 1980, the Alexander L. Kielland was a Norwegian semi-submersible drilling rig that capsized whilst working in the Ekofisk oil field killing 123 people; six different Nimrods searched for survivors and took turns to provide rescue co-ordination, involving the control of 80 surface ships and 20 British and Norwegian helicopters. In an example of the search capabilities, in September 1977 when an attempted crossing of the North Atlantic in a Zodiac inflatable dinghy went wrong, a Nimrod found the collapsed dinghy and directed a ship to it.
Similar to the SKAD (Survival Kit Air Droppable) our Auroras used and presumably still do.
It was loaded into the bomb bay and led to some clueless ‘reporters’ saying our planes were obviously ‘flying around armed’…
I believe it was/is used on the EH-101 Cormorant helicopters as well, but I never worked on those.