Baby born on helicopter flying from Isles of Scilly to Cornwall hospital

261222 Helicopter Birth HM Coastguard
Jennifer, Hayden and their baby boy Ebbyn Credit: HM Coastguard

A baby boy was born in a Coastguard helicopter just as it was about to land outside a Cornwall hospital.

Jennifer Trevithick, a St Mary's coastguard rescue officer, went into labour on December 4, and was flown from the Isles of Scilly to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

She started having contractions at around 9pm and went to the island's birth centre with her partner Hayden.

However, the midwife discovered some meconium - the first stool a baby passes which can get stuck - when her waters broke. This escalated events to an emergency and triggering the coastguard’s help.

The Coastguard helicopter in Newquay was sent to the Isles of Scilly. But despite it only being a 25-minute journey, Jen knew the baby was going to be born during the flight.

Ebbyn was born 15 feet in the air as the helicopter prepared to land outside the hospital Credit: HM Coastguard

Around halfway through the journey, the head started to show and while hovering 15 feet over the helipad at the hospital, Jen gave birth to her baby boy Ebbyn, just after 2am.

He is the third Scillonian to be born on a Coastguard helicopter. Describing the events as part of “one crazy evening” Jen, who is also a brewer on St Mary's, said: "All I could think was this baby’s coming, and there is no way of stopping it.

"I was in such a birthing bubble, I knew what was happening but I couldn’t talk or anything. All I knew was I didn’t have any worries.

"There wasn’t a single moment I felt scared, my body did what it needed to in the safest environment.

"Once I was onboard, the medic and midwife were there, and they were just so lovely. I had such great people and support with me."

Ebbyn is the third Scillonian to be born on a Coastguard helicopter Credit: HM Coastguard

Jen added: “It was such a surreal experience, but quite fun in a way. At the end I was holding Ebbyn in my arms, but I wasn’t sure where we were or what was happening.”

"At the time I didn’t realise how crazy or rare this was. Being flown to hospital for childbirth isn’t unheard of here, so we assumed there must be complications and births in the air all the time.”

Following the events, Jen said that Ebbyn is healthy and growing fast, and she’s looking forward to returning to the Coastguard next year.

She said: “The whole time I felt so safe – when you hear that helicopter sound you know someone is being taken to that next level of care, it’s a positive sound.

"If it wasn’t for the Coastguard we wouldn’t have this lovely story to tell, we’re so grateful to them and the staff involved."