News is breaking tonight that the contract for UK Search and Rescue is about to be awarded to US company Bristow. Despite thousands of signatures on an online petition against the move, the UK government will be pressing ahead with their plans to privatise SAR operations. This at a time when SAR helicopter crews are working round the clock to bring aid to the civilian community in areas such as Arran, which have been hit by heavy snow. Whether it’s soldiers in Afghanistan, or helicopter crews here at home, the governments attitude seems to be “Thanks for your help, don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out”. Time will tell whether it brings the supposed improvements to SAR. Don’t be surprised if it has more wide reaching consequences. Anyone for compulsory hillwalking insurance?