Royal Navy parachuters hone submarine rescue skills

Soldiers from the Royal Navy’s Submarine Parachute Assistance Group recently practised providing immediate assistance to a stricken boat in Studland Bay, Dorset.

A dozen members of the Submarine Parachute Assistance Group, often shortened to SPAG, leapt from the back of a Hercules aircraft and into the Channel, accompanied by their kit.

According to the Royal Navy, the jumpers are at six hours’ notice to go anywhere in the world if needed, taking inflatable boats, life rafts, hot and cold rations, first aid kit, and communications equipment.


To maintain their parachute qualifications, the SPAGers loaded their kit and equipment on to one of the Royal Air Forces’s veteran transporters and, with the help of Royal Logistic Corps 47 Air Despatch, jumped off the Hercules C-130 aircraft several thousand feet over the bay, where patrol ship HMS Severn and her sea boat were on standby.

“It was great to see the teamwork so my team could parachute and ensure a successful exercise was achieved,” said SPAG’s head, WO1 Chris Dello.

The jump group traces its history back to the late 60s when the Navy decided it needed a parachute rescue team, especially in remote areas.