The crew of an RAF Sea King rescue helicopter made a surprise landing last Wednesday on the southeast coast of Britain, but the only emergency appeared to be a snack attack, several media reports said. A couple of crew members jumped out, walked to a snack bar and purchased four ice creams before reboarding and taking off, beachgoers reported.
According to Britain’s Daily Mail, Francis Ford, 18, served the crew members — wearing their full flight uniforms — at the Winterton Dunes Beach Café in Norfolk. Ford initially thought he was the victim of a hoax.
“I said ‘Oh, hello there. How can I help’ and one asked for four ice creams. I said ‘Really?’ I thought it was a joke,” he said.
The Daily Mail reported that the Ministry of Defense said the landing was OK:
“A spokesman for the RAF said: ‘SAR (search and rescue) crews complete a variety of training sorties when not completing life saving operations.
‘Crews are often required to land on beaches during SAR operations and they regularly practise this skill as part of routine training sorties.
‘The decision of the rear crew (not pilots as widely reported) to obtain refreshments on a hot day during this sortie, whilst being somewhat unconventional is not against regulations.'”
A beachgoer managed to catch a few photos. You can catch them on the Daily Mail’s site.