Mercy mission to save life of critically ill boy
A DRAMATIC emergency mission was under way last night to save the life of a critically ill boy on Shetland.
The complex operation was launched after the 12-year-old collapsed yesterday afternoon and was rushed to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.
A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter left its base at HMS Gannet in Prestwick at 5pm to pick up a specialist doctor and nurse from the Edinburgh Sick Children's Hospital and take them to Aberdeen Airport.
Waiting for them there, with rotors running, was another Sea King from RAF Lossiemouth, in Moray. The medical team transferred between helicopters and the aircraft took off, facing gale force winds, at 8:20pm for an estimated 75-minute flight to Tingwall Airport, Shetland, to pick up the boy.
They were expected to arrive back at RAF Kinloss, Moray, in the early hours of this morning, to transfer to a Scottish Air Ambulance fixed wing plane for the journey to Edinburgh.
Michael Mulford, spokesman for the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre at RAF Kinloss, said: "We know they will encounter severe weather en route, particularly on the return leg.
"Winds are blasting at up to 60mph, visibility is poor and the cloud base is low. They are almost certain to take a severe buffeting, but they will give it their very best shot to help save a life.
"The winds are such that it may prove impossible to shut down the helicopter on the ground in Shetland because the wind looks likely to be beyond limits for starting the rotors running again."
Meanwhile, two climbers were yesterday treated in hospital after spending the night stuck on Britain's highest mountain in freezing conditions.
A search was launched after one of the mountaineers called Fort William police station at about midnight on Saturday to say he and his companion were trapped on Ben Nevis. The pair were stuck near to the Half Way Lochan.
Members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team carried out a search of the area but were unable to find the pair.
A full search was organised for yesterday morning, with RAF mountain rescue teams due to set off in search of the climbers at first light. But before that got under way, the missing pair contacted Fort William police station to say that they had made their way off the hill safely.
The climbers, who have not been identified, had sheltered on the hill overnight and had managed to come down at dawn.
They were both very cold and wet and were taken to the Belford Hospital in Fort William for a check-up.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South