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 darknessSeaking small 2 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.

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