Military, Coastguard and Civilian Search and Rescue (SAR) Helicopters are tasked with the recovery of survivors and casualties from the sea and other difficult or inaccessible locations. The Irvin-GQ Helicopter Rescue Harness Mk 4 is used to lower a SAR crewman to survivors. The Helicopter Rescue Strop is used in conjunction with the harness and enables the SAR crewman and survivor to be hoisted up to the helicopter.




Helicopter Rescue Harness Mk 4
The Helicopter Rescue Harness Mk 4 is used when lowering the SAR crewman to assist in the rescue of survivors. When in use, it is fitted to the crewman and connected to the helicopter winch cable hook. The Rescue Harness consists of four main components:

  • • The Harness Assembly - A polyester canvas bucket seat to accommodate the SAR crewman. The bucket seat is fitted with integral, adjustable body, shoulder and leg polyester webbing straps
  • • The Suspension Strop - A short polyester webbing strap that attaches the harness to the helicopter winch cable hook
  • • A Quick Release Fitting (QRF) - Connects the suspension strop to the harness
  • • An Extension Strop - A polyester webbing strap 1.8m (72 in) in length which may be used as an additional connecting line between the harness and the helicopter winch cable hook
The Hi-Line Transfer Assembly
During rescue operations in high sea states, there is a danger of the SAR crewman being struck by the ship's masts or rigging. The Hi-Line Transfer Assembly enables the helicopter to be positioned to one side of a ship during rescue operations. The assembly consists of:

  • • A length of 7800 N (1750 lbs) braided nylon or polyester rope Line lengths of 28m (90 ft), 46m (150 ft), 61m (200 ft) and 76m (250 ft) are available
  • • A line stowage container of rigid or fabric construction
  • • A lowering weight

Prior to lowering the SAR crewman, the Hi-Line is positioned on the vessel's deck using the lowering weight. The helicopter then moves clear of the vessel. The SAR crewman is lowered and the vessel’s crew pull on the HI-Line to guide the SAR crewman onto the deck.



Assembly Part No. NATO Stock Number
Helicopter Rescue Harness Mk 4 MRI GQ 486 1670-99-105-7316
Hi-Line Transfer Assembly - 46m (150 ft) Fabric Stowage Container MRI GQ 1139 1680-99-750-2705
Hi-Line Transfer Assembly - 28m (90 ft) Rigid Stowage Container MRI GQ 1705/A 1680-99-573-6687
Hi-Line Transfer Assembly - 46m (150 ft) Rigid Stowage Container MRI GQ 1705/B 1680-99-573-6688
Hi-Line Transfer Assembly - 61m (200 ft) Rigid Stowage Container MRI GQ 1705/C 1680-99-573-6689
Hi-Line Transfer Assembly - 76m (250 ft) Rigid Stowage Container MRI GQ 1705/D 1680-99-573-6690

The Helicopter Rescue Harness Mk 4 is normally used in conjunction with the Helicopter Rescue Strop, in which the survivor is hoisted up into the aircraft.