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The RAF's role in its current Sea Kings has been superseded by a new commercial service after a centenary of rescue operations.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

WATCH: New 'City of Bristol' military plane soars over suspension bridge

The RAF's new A400m military plane, christened 'City of Bristol' to commemorate the city's role in building it, has completed a fly-past over the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The name, described as a "special privilege" by the Ministry of Defence, is a positive development for the troubled project, which has seen a series of technical problems and delays.

Airbus, which designed and manufactured the plane's wings at its Filton site, recently shook up the management of the project.

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