Injured Woolacombe paraglider airlifted to hospital

Chivenor's Sea King was called to assists an injured paraglider on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Andy

Chivenor's Sea King was called to assists an injured paraglider on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Andy Keeble - Credit: Archant

RAF Sea King helicopter called following mid-flight incident.

A female paraglider was airlifted to hospital on Saturday afternoon after injuring herself during a flight over hills above Woolacombe beach.

Chivenor’s RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter was called to assist the woman, thought to be undertaking her first solo flight, at around 3pm.

According to Sea King winch operator Sergeant Russ Jenkins, the pilot thought her harness was loose and had attempted an emergency landing.

“She touched down harder than she intended but had detached her chute and had started to walk back up the hill before feeling unwell,” he said.


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“An RNLI coastguard team managed to reach her using a quad bike and was treating her when we arrived.”

The helicopter was unable to land on the beach or headland and hovered for around an hour before taking the casualty to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple, and then on to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

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A spokesperson from the North Devon Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club said the casualty was from a club in South Devon and was not thought to be seriously injured.

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