A new type of helicopter has been put through its paces in the Lake District, before it starts coming to the aid of walkers who get into trouble on the fells. Rescue teams from across Cumbria have been given training today, to see how the new aircraft differs from the RAF Sea King, which has been used for decades. Jenny Longden reports.
Training has taken place to familiarise Mountain Rescue volunteers with a new helicopter to be used in search and rescue missions.
The Sikorsky S92 was flown in to Thirlmere in the Lake District this morning.
From April it will replace some of the RAF Sea King helicopters used by Mountain Rescue teams across the UK, after the contract for Mountain Rescue helicopters was awarded to Bristow Helicopter Ltd in 2013.
A slightly different helicopter, the Agusta Westland AW189, will be used by the Lake District team when it arrives at Prestwick next January.
The new helicopters are slightly bigger, faster and more powerful than the Sea King.
Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association Chairman Richard Warren said:
This is state of the art, the rotor blades are heated so it doesn't ice up, it has got GPS so that it can hover very very carefully over a location, it is faster, bigger, takes a bigger payload, takes two stretchers, 11 team members, so yeah, it has got a rear ramp, so it has got all the bits and pieces plus a double winch so, fingers crossed we are going to get a really good service from Bristow.
There's currently a rolling road block in place on the M6 in Cumbria due to an accidnet.
Northbound traffic between junction 37 (Kendal) and junction 38 (Tebay) is being affected.
Police are concerned for the welfare of a 43-year-old man from Carlisle who has gone missing.
Casper Capel was last seen at Eden Housing in Penrith on Wednesday 14th January.
Mr Capel is described as white, of a slim build, with short dark hair and a beard.
He was last seen wearing a dark jacket with green sleeves, black trousers and a flat cap.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police immediately on 101 and ask to speak to the Duty Sergeant at Durranhill Police Station.
The A591 is closed in Sedgwick due to a multiple-vehicle accident.
Drivers are being warned of slow traffic northbound between the Hawes Lane and A6 junctions.
The A75 is closed in both directions between Newton Stewart and Glenluce due to a road traffic accident.
Drivers are being asked to expect lengthy delays and follow the diversion signs in place.
Nine mountain rescue teams from Cumbria are taking part in a joint training day in the Lake District.
The day will consist of team members being trained to use the new Sikorsky helicopter, which is more modern and larger than the Sea King.
Two groups of 30 mountain rescuers will each be put through morning and afternoon training sessions.
The teams taking part are:
- Cockermouth MRT
- Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit (COMRU)
- Coniston MRT
- Duddon and Furness MRT
- Langdale and Ambleside MRT
- Kendal MRT
- Keswick MRT
- Kirby Stephen MRT
- Wasdale MRT
The search for a Cumbrian mountain biker thought to be missing in the Cheviot Hills has been ended, after it appeared it was a false alarm.
Rescue teams from Northumberland and the Scottish Borders joined together to search for David Bibby who was reported missing on Thursday 15th January.
Staff from a Wooler hotel had raised the alarm after Mr Bibby had failed to turn up for dinner.
However, Northumbria Police say that the man gave hotel staff a false name and information about going cycling.
Police are carrying out enquiries to identify the man and speak to him about the incident.
One of Britain's best rock climbers has claimed that the first Brit to free climb El Capitan's notorious Dawn Face could be from Cumbria.
This prediction comes in the week that the summit in Yosemitie National Park was scaled by free climbers for the first time ever.
Neil Gresham, who's from Kendal, has said that Cumbrian born Leo Houlding shows most promise to take the crown of Brit who reaches the top first.
The ability to export haggis to the USA and Canada would make independent Scottish Butchers millionaires, claims a champion haggis making butcher from Hawick.
Lindsay Grieve supplies his family recipe haggis around the world, but exporting haggis to the USA and Canada is prohibited due to an import ban on sheep lung products.
Conservative peer Lord McColl raised the issue during Question Time in the House of Lords today, calling for the Government to put pressure on the American administration to lift the ban, which has been in place since 1971.
Border's butcher Mr Grieve says removing the ban would open up a huge market.
"I've been in business for 26 years and during that time we have been trying to get haggis into America and Canada, but it's not allowed.
"There are some communities where the population is bigger than Scotland and to get haggis into them could make us millionaires, it could be our saviour."