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Annual Culdrose Air Day gets underway

Harrier Jump Jet
Harrier Jump Jet Credit: ITV West Country

The A394 from both the Penzance and Falmouth directions is busy this morning as thousands of people make their way to the annual Culdrose Air Day.

The Gates opened at nine am.

The Air Day is the only day of the year when the public can step into the world of Culdrose and experience the sights and sounds of a working military Naval Air Station.

There are flying displays and an opportunity to get up close to various aircraft on the ground.

With frontline helicopter Squadrons supporting the Navy across the globe, Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose is home to a variety of military aircraft including Merlin and Sea King helicopters, Hawk Jets, and the King Air 350 Avengers.

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Woman airlifted to hospital after cliff fall in Devon

A woman in her 40s has been airlifted to hospital after falling from the cliffs at Salcombe early this morning, Thursday 17 July.

Brixham Coastguard says that she fell up to 20 feet and could have fallen even further but she got stuck in the undergrowth.

It is believed that she has broken some bones and there are possible spinal injuries.

Culdrose helicopters in major naval exercise

Helicopters from RNAS Culdrose are playing a major role in a military training exercise which started today in the North Atlantic.

We had the chance to catch up with the fleet of Merlins as they prepared for the exercise - and see the vital role they're now equipped to play to protect the Royal Navy. Our Cornwall correspondent Steve Hardy reports

Padstow lifeboat in trawler rescue

Six fisherman have been rescued off the Cornish coast in a joint operation involving the Padstow lifeboat and a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose. The crew of the French trawler took to survival suits and abandoned ship yesterday when their vessel was struck by huge waves in gale force winds.

Five of the crew were plucked from the water by the Royal Navy rescue helicopter and the skipper was picked up by the RNLI lifeboat from Padstow. All six crew were brought ashore.

Padstow lifeboat 2nd Coxswain Richard Pitman said, "A great deal of credit must go the winchman on the helicopter. The heavy sea conditions made his job very difficult as he was dragged in and out of the water with the rise and fall of the sea.

"The conditions were challenging and it was a difficult rescue for all involved, we are pleased to have been able to assist."

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From RNAS Culdrose to the Philippines

A team from Culdrose Air Base has been sent to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. They'll be giving aid using a Merlin MK 1 helicopter that's usually based near Helston.

The crew have been deployed since June, and now won't return till after Christmas.

They were taking part in counter-piracy operations before the Prime Minister sent them to help.

Helicopters at RNAS Culdrose Credit: ITV News West Country

Five rescued after boat sank off the Lizard

Five people have been rescued after their boat sank in stormy conditions off the Cornish coast. The RNLI and RNAS Culdrose search and rescue helicopter helped to rescue the crew from the sinking French fishing vessel off the Lizard around 1am this morning.

Two tankers also helped to shelter the boat while waiting for rescue.

"With stormy conditions out to sea, we needed to act quickly to help these five crew members try to stop the water coming into their boat. Unfortunately, the pumps could not cope and they had to get into their life craft. From there they were winched to safety. "Luckily none of the five were hurt or showing signs of hypothermia as they were all wearing survival suits. This undoubtedly aided their survival in what have been tricky conditions tonight."

– Jon Wood, Watch Officer at Falmouth Coastguard

RNAS Culdrose opens its doors

Up close to aircraft at the Culdrose Air Day.

The annual Culdrose Air Day event, held at one of the largest helicopter bases in Europe, returns to Cornwall today.

Spectators will be able to watch flying displays, meet Royal Navy pilots and see state of the art aircraft up close.

Last year's event was cancelled because of repairs to the runway and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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