Ready for emergencies as the new year dawns

The Westmorland Gazette: Lieutenant Commander Martin Lanni Lieutenant Commander Martin Lanni

RINGING in the New Year with his loved ones is not an option for one Kendal man – who will be ‘on call’ at a Royal Navy base.

Lieutenant Commander Martin Lanni is a training officer and pilot at the Royal Navy’s Ayrshire search and rescue unit.

He will spend the final day of 2013 preparing to respond to emergencies during a 24-hour shift.

The former Queen Katherine School student is a member of a four-strong team ready to take to 98,000 square miles of sky. He and his crew must be ready to be airborne within 15 minutes during the day and 45 minutes at night to respond to emergencies.

The 43-year-old joined the Royal Navy in January 1991 and in 2009 was awarded the Air Force Cross for a daring rescue on Ben Nevis, when he and his crew saved the lives of three climbers.

“We never know what we’re going to encounter when we report for duty,” Martin said.

“Even what appears to be the simplest of jobs can turn out to be particularly challenging – and, in this part of the world, that’s usually due to the weather and difficult terrain.

He goes off shift at 8am on January 1 and said he would be looking forward to spending the day with his family.

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