Coastguard helicopter team helps transfer Barra patients

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HM Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter team in Stornoway has been responding to requests from the NHS to move people most at risk of serious illness after testing positive for Covid-19 to Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway.

This is in addition to the coastguard aircraft’s search and rescue response duties with January 2021 the busiest month on record for the Stornoway base since it was opened in 2013.

Claire Hughes, director of HM Coastguard, said: ‘The Stornoway helicopter is making a huge difference in transferring patients who need help the most to ensure they get the care they require as quickly as possible.

‘On the ground, our rescue teams in Barra, Lochboisdale, Stornoway and Harris are also playing their part by using coastguard drivers and vehicles to transport completed COVID-19 tests between Barra and Stornoway.’

Simon Fraser, Chief Pilot at the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter base at Stornoway, added: ‘All of the crew who have been involved with this aircraft over the past seven years or so take enormous pride in their work and the importance of supporting our communities with round-the-clock, lifesaving work on the Western Isles and at other coastal locations in Scotland.’