RAF curfew for Valley and Leconfield
The RAF Search and Rescue service from two stations which normally cover the Peak District will be suspended during the hours of darkness according to a recent BBC news item.
In proposals to temporarily curtail the service, six stations may be down-graded to daylight cover only, starting from the 15th November. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the changes were only temporary and that full cover should be reinstated by 31st December.
A spokesman for Buxton Mountain Rescue Team said: “the restrictions are a concern because the RAF provide the only helicopter rescue support after nightfall. Air-ambulances do not fly at night. However, history shows that night flying is a rare event apart for support on search operations. Police helicopters do fly in darkness and are equipt to search, but cannot lift a casualty. The RAF will still provide an aircraft if necessary, it may just take a little longer to get here. You can never 100% rely on air support because of other more pressing operations by the RAF, so we always have a plan B ready.”
Photo: An RAF Seaking Search & Rescue helicopter lands at the Team’s base at Dove Holes during a training exercise.