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'It's sad to see it go' RAF rescue crews give up Chivenor base

The RAF rescue crews at Chivenor in North Devon say they're sad but proud to be giving up their air station.

Click to hear from Wing Commander Sparky Dunlop:

The RAF's role in its current Sea Kings has been superseded by a new commercial service after a centenary of rescue operations. I

It has played a vital role in thousands of rescues over the years, including the floods in Boscastle and Gloucester .

RAF Sea Kings will fly from Chivenor base for one more week

Search and Rescue helicopters have been saving lives from their base at Chivenor for 60 years Credit: ITV News

Our reporter Seth Conway is spending the day with Search and Rescue helicopters in Chivenor and has some breaking news.

The RAF Sea Kings from twenty two Squadron were due to stop running today but ITV has learned they'll continue to operate for another week before the service is handed over to a private company.

It's a slight reprieve but it's still a sad moment for the community.

More on ITV West Country tonight at 6pm.

Statement Chivenor will continue to provide full helicopter search and rescue capability for a further period of around one week at the request of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who asked for this continuance.

The option to provide a continuance of service has been part of the UK SAR Transition Planning programme for all of the 6 RAF SAR flights in the UK and this request will neither affect the level of SAR service across the region served by Chivenor, nor in any impede the future careers of RAF personnel serving at Chivenor.


Huge fire at Chivenor Business Park

Devon and Somerset Fire Service has spent the early hours of this morning tackling a huge blaze at Chivenor Business Park, Devon. 14 cars and 19 minibuses belonging to Chivenor Car Hire have been destroyed.

It took 35 firefighters to extinguish the blaze. The operation was further complicated by the need to isolate a nearby gas supply. A police and fire service investigation is now underway.

Bristow consider keeping SAR crew at Chivenor

Bristow consider keeping SAR crew at Chivenor Credit: ITV News West Country

A search and rescue helicopter firm is considering keeping a crew at Royal Marines Base Chivenor in North Devon.

Under current plans Bristow - who won the 10 year contract - will fly from 10 locations around the country from 2015, with the Chivenor operation moving to St Athan in Wales. But local politicians have met with the firm and say Bristow have agreed to look at a reduced presence at Chivenor.

Men rescued from Plymstock cliff top

Three men have been rescued by fire crews after becoming trapped on a cliff top in Bovisand Bay.

Emergency services from the Greenbank and Plymstock areas came to assist in the rescue and a helicopter from Chivenor was also called out.

The men were rescued from the cliff in the early hours of this morning.

One of the men suffered a minor injury to their leg, which was dealt with by the Ambulance Service.

Rescue helicopter decision "doesn't make sense"

North Devon Council Leader Brian Greenslade and local MP Sir Nick Harvey have today met the Transport Minister in a bid to get the decision to scrap the search and rescue helicopter, based at Chivenor.

They say that with so many holidaymakers, the North Devon base is one of the busiest and switching the service to Wales doesn't make sense.

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