Culdrose helicopters join fight against virus in south-west

Added: Over a year ago by Royal Navy

Royal Navy helicopters today join the national struggle against the coronavirus, helping millions of Britons in the West Country.

Merlin helicopters from Culdrose will act as flying ambulances and transporters.

As part of the Royal Navy’s support to the NHS throughout the UK during the pandemic, Merlin helicopters from Culdrose will act as flying ambulances and transporters, flying supplies and personnel.

The helicopters – typically used for submarine-hunting – will provide round-the-clock assistance to the NHS and South West Ambulance Services, serving a population of more than 4,500,000 people across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Bristol, Somerset, the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly.

Three Merlin Mk2 helicopters and their crews from 820 Naval Air Squadron have been set aside for the task, aided not just by their own engineers and technicians, but the entire support network at the Helston airbase: medics, air traffic controllers, safety and logistic experts.
The submarine-hunting equipment which normally fills the helicopters’ cabins has been stripped out so the Merlins can carry several stretchers, passengers and stores quickly, smoothly and efficiently over long distances.