Search and rescue duties are the speciality of the Wessex Helicopter, which takes over at RAF Manston, Kent. This two engine machine is seen winching up two people over the coast of Angelsey. It can pick up a maximum of 10 and travel at 140 mph. 26/03/02: The RAF has announced that the Wessex helicopter will be retired. The veteran of the Falklands war and Northern Ireland, which is renowned for its reliability, has been in service since the 1950s.