Emergency services try to hold back sand

Man rescued in beach collapse

Ronnie Martin from Bedlington had to be rescued from Druridge beach in Northumberland after he became trapped in the hole he was digging.

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Several people taken to hospital after A174 crash

Several people have been taken to hospital after a three-vehicle crash near Saltburn.

The A174 Brotton bypass is currently closed at the junction with North Skelton to the Kilton Lane roundabout after the incident at around 5pm this evening.

The Great North Air Ambulance was sent to the scene along with several ambulances and paramedics.

The injured people have been taken to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough.

More to follow.

Police raise funds for two charities

Cheque presentation to Zoe's Place Credit: Cleveland Police

Two charities have benefitted from a road safety event organised by Cleveland Police's Motorcycle section.

The Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Place were presented with cheques for £500 each from the proceeds raised at Ridewell 2013, which was held at Preston Park on Sunday 11th August.

Ridewell, which held its twelfth event this year, continues in its efforts to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities on the county’s roads.

Cheque presentation to the Great North Air Ambuance Credit: Cleveland Police

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: “We are very pleased to be able to present the Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Place with this money, which will hopefully go some way in continuing with their incredible work.”

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Cyclist airlifted to hospital

A cyclist has been airlifted to hospital with serious head and back injuries after colliding with a farm trailer. It happened near Crook in County Durham at 10 o'clock this morning.

The 46 year old man was treated at the scene by a paramedic before being airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle by the Great North Air Ambulance. His condition is described as stable.

Crash survivor backs air ambulance

A woman who was in a coma for three weeks after a motorcycle crash in County Durham is now helping the air ambulance which first flew to her assistance.

Karen O'Connor's life was in the balance after the crash in 2011 and medics initially feared she could be paralysed from the neck down.

The 52-year-old had been thrown from her bike after colliding with a car on the A688 through the village of Stainton Grove, near Barnard Castle.

She was attended to by Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) and although not paralysed in the accident, she faced a long recovery.

"I have no recollection of the accident and my husband knew the first 24 hours could go either way. Now, I want to continue to support the service for as long as I live."

– Karen O'Connor

Karen O'Connor is encouraging new bikers to support the Great North Air Ambulance through her motorcycle training company, which she runs with her husband Ian, in Bishop Auckland.

The academy offers compulsory basic training, a test that is required for all learner riders.

"We want to encourage people to drive safe, while helping to raise money for the charity that saved my life. The air ambulance is all about time - the difference between living and dying. They are a permanent service and we are long-standing supporters."

– Karen O'Connor

Full Report: Calls for air ambulance tax cuts

The Great North Air Ambulance costs millions of pounds a year to run and the charity does it without public or government funding.

Four of the region's MPs now want to help cut those costs by campaigning for tax breaks for the service.

The charity runs three helicopters across Cumbria, North Yorkshire and the North East of England.

The politicians say if it was exempt from VAT on fuel, it would save tens of thousands of pounds.

Katie Oakes has the full report below.

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Family pay tribute to "wonderful husband and dad" who died in crash

The family of a man from Sunderland who died after his motorbike was involved in a collision have paid tribute to a "wonderful husband and dad".

Neil Hamilton died after his motorbike crashed into a 4x4 vehicle on April 3 on the B6301 near Tow Law.

Neil Hamilton's family lay a wreath at the site of the crash Credit: Durham Police

His wife Christine, and their sons Mark and Christopher, have thanked the public for their support and are appealing for anyone who would like to make a donation to give money to The Great North Air Ambulance.

Christine Hamilton said:

"We are devastated at the loss of a wonderful husband and dad, who is sadly missed by all who knew him. He leaves an emptiness in our hearts and lives that will never be filled."

Mark and Christopher Hamilton said:

"Dad greatly appreciated the work of the air ambulance. As they were also involved at the scene following the incident, anyone who would like to express themselves in our dad's memory, please feel free to make a donation to The Great North Air Ambulance via this link."

Fundraising challenge takes biker group to the edge

A motorcycle group which raised more than £300,000 in little over six years for an air ambulance which covers the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria has announced its latest challenges.

Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group will head out on rides covering the 500 mile circumference of the Great North Air Ambulance's Service area.

Riders can take one or two days to complete the journey, which starts and finishes at Kirkleatham Hall in Redcar on June 29.

The route takes in Berwick, Carlisle, Whitehaven, Kendal, York and Scarborough.

There will also be a start and finish point in Cumbria, which is yet to be announced.

The following day, the Boundary 500 Classic Motorcycle Challenge takes in 130 miles around the North Yorkshire Moors.

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