Baby born aboard Sea King search-and-rescue helicopter

That’s going to make for some interesting form-filling when he gets older. Place of birth: Sea King helicopter.

Special delivery for Culdrose rescuers as baby is born mid-flight

For only the second time in the Fleet Air Arm’s history a baby was born in the back of a helicopter on a maternity mission.

Marcus Daniel McLachlan was born aboard a 771 NAS Sea King which was ferrying his mum to hospital in Truro from the Scilly Isles.

Special delivery for Culdrose rescuers as baby is born mid-flight.

Meet Marcus Daniel McLachlan, all 5lb 3oz of him, not two days old. Place of Birth: Sea King Rescue 193, two miles southeast of Truro – and 150ft above Cornish soil.

He’s thought to be only the second baby born in a Royal Navy helicopter in more than six decades of rotary wing flight – adding a bit of last-minute excitement to an otherwise fairly routine mission for the rescuers of 771 Naval Air Squadron.

The duty Sea King at the squadron’s base at Culdrose was scrambled just after 5pm on Tuesday to ferry Ella McLachlan, who’d just gone into labour on the tiny island of St Martin’s in the Scillies.

Aboard the Sea King to assist the expectant mother was midwife Sue Merritt from Helston Birthing Centre – which is standard practice for any such sorties.

Having picked up mum and dad Barney from St Martin’s (population 142), the helicopter headed for the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, near Truro.

“I gave the crew a ‘10 minutes left to run’ heads up so they could prepare for arrival,” said pilot Flt Lt Jon Owen RAF.

“The midwife shouted back that baby was preparing for his own immediate arrival and that we needed to get ready to deliver in the air. I simply looked at the other pilot, Lt Paul Smalley, and we continued to fly as Mother Nature took over.”

Rescue 193’s observer Lt Cdr ‘Chuck’ Norris and pilot Flt Lt Jon Owen in their makeshift maternity ward.

In the back of the helicopter, observer Lt Cdr ‘Chuck’ Norris – who’s trained to deal with a whole range of medical emergencies – prepared for his first birth as he and aircrewman PO Gary Kneesh helped the midwife.

“It’s pretty uncommon to announce to the coastguard that you had launched with seven persons on board, but were preparing to land with eight!” said Chuck.

On arrival mum, dad and baby were quickly whisked away to the Royal Cornwall Hospital. All are doing well after the excitement of the journey.

“We thought we’d have a relaxing day. Then at the end of the afternoon Ella started feeling some cramps,” said Barney, a baker on the small island.

“We went to see the midwife for an examination and she confirmed Ella was in labour and that she needed to call Culdrose to pick us up.

“The Culdrose boys were immense, absolutely phenomenal. At one point they had to shine a light for Sue. They were hugely caring and brilliant. They always deliver and always look after us.”

Royal Navy clearance divers dispose of 70-year old German bomb

70-years later, unexploded munitions from the Second World War still remain a problem to be dealt with. Fortunately, Royal Navy clearance divers have the necessary EOD skills to deal with these historic hazards.

Southern Diving Unit blows up World War 2 bomb in north Cornwall

A Royal Navy ordnance disposal team safely detonated a WW2 bomb in the South West today.

The team of four from the Southern Diving Unit 1 at HM Naval Base Devonport, Plymouth, blew up the air-dropped bomb in-situ in a controlled explosion where it was found by contractors for SW Water laying a mains in a field at St Eval Kart Circuit near Wadebridge, north Cornwall yesterday.

The unexploded German 50g, two-ft-long device was still live and had to be rendered safe through working on the fuse. An exclusion zone (including a no-fly-area because of the adjacent Newquay Airport) was enforced over night by police. Roads were closed and horses in the field were also removed for their safety.

The incident also involved staff from the water company and a local authority. Preparation for the operation began with the building of a protective earthwork with 6.5 tonnes of sandbags in two rings round the bomb in order to prevent damage to property and people from the bomb if it went off unexpectedly and when detonated in the controlled explosion.

Petty Officer Diver Sid Lawrence said: “This was a very well run operation with several organisations including the water company, builders on the site who discovered the bomb and emergency services, local authorities and the guys who put up the protective works. This made our job a lot more straight forward and ensured the safety of the public.

“This was a live bomb which caused a major hazard. However, after the delicate work needed to disarm the bomb we decided to detonate it on the same site and that went smoothly.’’