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Hovercraft crew prepares for rescue work around Heathrow

Steve Dolphin and Ian Sainsbury, firemen based at Heathrow, testing the new Skimmer 4 hovercraft on a reservoir near the airport. The vessel will be used to rescue passengers in the event of an aircraft crashing into nearby lakes and reservoirs. Three years ago, it was used to pick up the operator of a floating crane which had toppled over into a neighbouring sewage plant.

Photograph: John Voos

(Photograph omitted)