BZ's SF Fleetweek '10 - Helicopter Rescue Swimmer

Photo Gallery

The Airshow portion of Fleet Week starts out with the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter doing a quick fly-by and then a rescue swimmer demonstration. Didn't get very close to the helicopter this year either (distance is usually an issue at Fleetweek), but I did get some nice scenic shots!
Nikon D300 w/ 150-500mm Sigma OS lens - Bernard Zee

Most of the better looking shots are from the boat. After all, you have to be over the water in order to get the helicopter and the Palace of Fine Arts in the same frame!

I really love this type of shots too, where the helicopter overlays the city background, and the exhaust gases coming out of the helicopter distorts the image behind it!

This shot has the Bay Bridge and Pier 39 in it. Exhaust gases from the twin engines can be seen venting downwards.

Probably the best spot to catch the the rescue helicopter demo is at Marina Green, or the Yatch club jetty.

A nice shot of the Dolphin in front of a foggy Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco Coast Guard operates the MH-65C Dolphin helicopter out of SFO. Actually, the Coast Guard has a little station right beside the main SFO airport - so they don't actually use the SFO facilities.

Settling into a hover, parts of Fort Mason pier and SF downtown can be seen in front of the helicopter.

That smoke marker was dropped by one of the Coast Guard Aux boats, and marks the spot of the 'victim'.

Geronimo! splash.

Hey look, he got someone! Actually, the rescue victim is a dummy (as in not live human). During actual helicopter rescue swimmer practice, they use a real person as the victim. Usually another rescue swimmer (or trainee).
I have a whole Helo Ops page with some nice closeups if interested.

Shooting in portrait orientation, I get the Transamerica building, another SF skyline landmark in on the shot.

With the swimmer and victim safely onboard, the Dolphin exits the area with a final pass.

BZ SF Fleetweek 2010 Gallery Index