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Harrogate Royal Navy pilot honoured for ‘outstanding airmanship and courage’

Lieutenant Commander Craig Sweeney

A North Yorkshire Royal Navy pilot has been awarded the Air Force Cross for grit, determination and courage - shown in his rescue of a climber in Argyll.

On December 18 2011, Lieutenant Commander Craig Sweeney, from Harrogate, led his search and rescue crew in what he later described as ‘one of the most challenging rescues’ he had ever undertaken.

In blizzard conditions, plummeting temperatures and pitch darkness, the team from HMS Gannet in Prestwick, Ayrshire, flew their Sea King Mark 5 helicopter to the aid of climber Dr Gareth Bradley, with a reported broken ankle.

The 3,074ft Beinn Sgulaird they flew to is 10 miles north east of Oban.

Dr Bradley, who now lives in Scotland, rescued the climber, who was in a precarious position near the 3,074ft summit and it was a race against time for the Prestwick-based Sea King helicopter in extreme conditions flying very close to the mountain’s rock face to recover him to safety.



HMS Ocean and Royal Navy Freedom Parade

HMS Ocean arrived on the River Wear on Thursday. Credit: ITV

More than 200 officers and ratings from Sunderland's adopted warship HMS Ocean are to parade through the city centre later today.

The freedom parade is part of a four-day visit by the Royal Navy's largest warship.

HMS Ocean and her crew were granted the Freedom of the City in 2004.

The parade's route is:

Burdon Road, into Fawcett Street, High Street West, Union Street, Market Square, Waterloo Place, Holmeside and returning into Burdon Road.

On Sunday 27 May, HMS Ocean is open to the public between 10am and 4pm at Corporation Quay, access for pedestrians via Low Street entrance. City centre and on-street parking is available.

Weekend celebrations begin

HMS Ocean arrived in Sunderland yesterday Credit: ITV News

HMS Ocean will begin her weekend of celebrations in Sunderland, when around 100 young people will get a true taste of life aboard the magnificent warship.

The Royal Marines Commando Recruitment Team will give participants the opportunity to try out core skills to see if they have what it takes to be part of the elite Royal Marines, in an action-packed ‘Meet the Marines’ event.

Activities will include unarmed combat, using a climbing wall and some rigorous physical training packages which the commandos use to hone and then maintain peak fitness.

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