Busy New Year for Chivenor search and rescue crews

SEARCH and Rescue crews at Chivenor have been called out to 13 jobs so far this year – twice as many as the same two-week period last year. Many of the extra helicopter call-outs have been due to heavy snow making roads impassable for ambulances. There

SEARCH and Rescue crews at Chivenor have been called out to 13 jobs so far this year - twice as many as the same two-week period last year.

Many of the extra helicopter call-outs have been due to heavy snow making roads impassable for ambulances.

"There have been a mix of normal medical ailments as well as a number of weather-related injuries in the South West and South Wales," said Flt Lt Steve Whalley.

"Almost all of the extra jobs have been attributable to the snow and ice and around half of all call-outs have involved a degree of night flying."


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Among the call-outs since January 1, Chivenor's A flight 22 squadron has flown to assist a surfer at Baggy Point; walkers in the Black Mountains and on Dartmoor; a mother and baby in Lynton; and a heart attack victim in Hartland.

Crews were called to sledging incidents in North Molton, Bodmin and the Rhonda Valley, while last night (Monday), a Torrington lady was flown to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple a suffering a suspected stroke.

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The figures back up a drive to retain 24-hour cover in North Devon. The campaign was launched by Ilfracombe Town Council in November in response to MoD plans to permanently reduce the cover from 24-hour to 12-hour in 2012, when private contractors will take over the service.

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