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on 23 May 2017
A very good read, I need to carry on reading the book I paid for, please unlock rest of book
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on 29 January 2014
Jake Watson’s book SAR is a brilliantly written gripping tale of front line RAF helicopter search and rescue. I read many non-fiction books, and memoirs in particular, and can honestly say that this book is head and shoulders above any other I have read. This is a fascinating subject in its own right but it has been wonderfully written by the author from his first hand experiences in the Royal Air Force. Most civilians have little knowledge of this military flying role which is going on, on our doorsteps, 365 days a year. We are probably all aware of newsworthy events, such as the flooding at Boscastle a few years ago, but each and every one of the rescue missions described in SAR would make a very notable headline story indeed.
Many modern memoirs seem to be written by minor celebrities with very little to say – nothing could be further from the truth with this book! I bought the book for an insight into search and rescue and found an account packed with great readability, drama, sincerity, poignancy and sheer courage. The memoirs contain a wonderfully interesting mix of anecdotes, including some extremely low points which are impossible to read without your heart going out to both the victims and the crews who have to deal with these situations. There are many highs too, and probably situations that we can all relate to, or indeed, situations where we might have needed help, had conditions conspired against us.
Although essentially a memoir, the pace and timing of the book reads more like a good novel, and one that is very hard to put down at that. There is a lovely section in the book where the chapters detailing individual rescue sorties are broken by a few mini-stories which the author states, and clearly considers, are not worthy of a full chapter. Far from it! This chapter is appealing, amusing and as with the whole book, impeccably written. It gives the book perfect balance and is the pre-cursor to the final two chapters which, for me at least, did not get read with a dry eye. It doesn’t matter whether you’re into fiction or non-fiction, memoirs or military, helicopters or heroes; this book will appeal to everyone and I cannot recommend it strongly enough!
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on 3 February 2014
The first impression I gained from SAR is that it is a highly professional and competently constructed piece of personal writing. I enjoyed the book immensely and looked forward to each chapter revealing its story. The technical detail and peculiarities of helicopter flight enhanced the book greatly and was portrayed in a manner that was very easy to absorb. As an ex-mariner (and one who was once on the wrong end of the winching wire) I was looking forward to the maritime content; I do believe it used to be called the Air Sea Rescue Service. I was not disappointed and particularly enjoyed the chapter of Jake’s exploits in the South Atlantic and the story of the hapless sailor in UK. Although well written, the stories of mountain rescues held less interest for me personally and is the reason I dropped a star from the overall rating. SAR does contain a broad cross-section of stories and finishes off with a heart-warming final chapter that no reader could fail to like. Very readable and recommended
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on 3 February 2014
SAR is without doubt a fine book with both substance and style. Living fairly close to one of the Search and Rescue Flights, I’m used to seeing the yellow Sea Kings buzzing up and down and will now hold a new found respect for the crews that operate them. This is a down-to-the-bone honest account of front line operations which, on the one hand is quite a shocking revelation to find out what actually happens and in the other hand, it is equally comforting to know our well being is catered for on this grand scale. The only disappointing thing about this book was that the end came too soon. Four hours of good quality reading and I was done. It’s a bit difficult to ask more of a memoir but I was so engrossed, I could have easily read a book twice as long. That said I wouldn’t want the stories watered down from their original telling, just more of them! A longer book of the same quality would have been a five star rating. Still a great read for all to enjoy though.
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on 28 January 2015
Amazing account of the work of our incredible RAF SAR teams. This book really gives a wonderful insight into the work done by our hugely talented and respected SAR teams, ready to scramble in their Sea King in all weathers and any time of day or night. The book as told from the pilot's perspective gives a real sense of the processes the crews go through but you also develop a good understanding of the roles of the other crew as you go through the book. Many things were learned as I went through this book and you only just begin to understand and realise the dangers involved in the vital role these guys have in search and rescue operations. I particularly developed a good understanding of the operational constraints of the Sea King in certain weathers and how much skill is involved in getting the aircraft into the optimum safe position in order to carry out a rescue. I learned about how different types of weather affect operations and how the winds in mountain ranges for example can either hamper or assist rescue attempts. There is information galore, but there is also emotion as various rescues are recalled and accounted. I genuinely had an enormous amount of respect for these guys and the job that they carry out beforehand, but upon finishing reading this book my eyes have been open to a whole new level of respect and admiration. We have probably all too often taken for granted the presence and readiness of these guys to perform rescues as and when required. Upon finishing this book, you will see things from a whole different perspective and that to me is a great thing. Very hard book to put down. I spent many nights with my eyes tiring, determined to reach the end of a chapter and wishing I was awake enough to read the next one! Terrific book!
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on 23 May 2014
From the first paragraph, the author had me hooked. Jake's writing style is uncluttered, and facilitates an understanding of the complexities faced as the pilot. He describes vividly the challenges of flying in mountainous terrain below cloud to avoid icing, and controlling a Sea King while fighting gusting winds. All is accomplished without the need for the reader to refer to the glossary; a refreshing change to many aviation books. The reader almost feels in the cockpit thanks to vivid descriptions. The highs and lows of search & rescue flying are well appreciated by the all too soon end of the book. Particularly moving is Jake's description of the 'stand out' sortie of his career.

Highly recommended.
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on 3 February 2014
I really enjoyed reading SAR by Jake Watson. I’m a keen royal follower and initially bought this book to gain an insight into the recent career of Prince William. I soon stopped thinking about royal references however, and became totally immersed in the book. The story is told in an eloquent manner by Watson, whose personality and ability as a raconteur shines through on every page. SAR is a well balanced, emotive book which is both engaging and thought provoking. It is written in a lively, mature style that most readers would find accessible. A highly recommended read!
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on 17 February 2014
If you enjoy outdoor pursuits I would highly recommend this book. Knowing that these brave flyers are there watching your backs is very reassuring, especially somewhere remote where you could really be in trouble. I really enjoyed the desciptions of Glenncoe and the other mountain areas that I have visited. There appears to be nowhere Jake and his crew will go to rescue you. So I hope you decide to go ahead andbuy this book as you will definitely enjoy it.
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on 1 April 2014
Written in an manner which gives a real insight into the world of RAF search and rescue helicopters and their crews. It explains technical things without massive boring detail but doesn't assume the readers understand any SAR jargon. The highs, the lows and realities of search and rescue work with several cracking wee stories woven cleverly together. When's the sequel being published?
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on 26 February 2014
Having read many SAR books this one rates very highly in my opinion. I like the fact that each chapter covered a particular incident in a nice concise way. This is a well written text written in such a way where those who are unfamiliar with the SAR world will be easily drawn into the excitement, courage and bravery of this calling. Well done Jake.
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