The new search and rescue helicopter will be just as visible over North Devon, according to the chief pilot.Captain Olly Padbury, who was flight commander of Chivenors 22 Squadron for three years, is taking the reins of the new Bristol AW139 helicopters replacing the RAF Chivenor Sea Kings. Captain Padbury, whose most enjoyable time in his RAF career was at Chivenor from 2008-2011, said he hoped to reassure the people of North Devon. He said: I have a lot of friends in North Devon who have contacted me with their concerns, which are completely understandable. The new Bristow helicopter starts much faster and covers ground much quicker than the Sea Kings. Other than the immediate area around Chivenor, we can reach North Devon as quickly if not quicker than people are used to. I think people will be surprised even I have been surprised. So far its been a busy time for the new crews, which include three ex-Chivenor crew members. The first two weeks have seen them cover eight rescues though none have yet been in North Devon from sea searches to winching off Cheddar Gorge. But Captain Padbury said North Devon can still expect to see the new helicopter as much as they ever saw the Sea King in the North Devon skies. We will be using the old Sea King grounds for our training, he said. In the summer, we hope to be over the North Devon beaches as much as possible. I hope people will still give us a wave well always wave back. The new search and rescue service is operated by Bristow Helicopter Ltd on behalf of the Coastguard.