Cornwall

Baby born on coastguard helicopter 1,400ft above Cornwall

Linda Benson; Alicia, Sandy and Torran MacDonald Image copyright Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Image caption The helicopter picked up midwife Linda Benson (left), before flying to St Mary to collect parents-to-be Sandy and Alicia MacDonald

A baby boy has been born mid-flight on the way to hospital in a coastguard helicopter over Cornwall.

Emergency crews received a call on Saturday night to urgently assist a woman who had gone into labour while visiting the Isles of Scilly.

There was no midwife on the islands in south-west England, so the family needed to get to the mainland quickly.

Baby Torran, who was born 1,400ft (426m) over Penzance, was "doing well", a coastguard spokesman said.

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The Newquay Coastguard helicopter was scrambled at about 19:00 BST and collected midwife Linda Benson.

It then touched down at St Mary's Airport, picked up Alicia and Sandy MacDonald - who were visiting from Inverness - and began the trip to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Image copyright Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Image caption Torran decided he was not going to wait to finish the flight, a hospital spokeswoman said

There is a midwife based on the Isles of Scilly, but she was not on call when Mrs MacDonald started going into labour, so a standby team based on the mainland stepped in.

However, the baby decided to make an appearance on board the aircraft, and at just before 21:00 BST, with the help of midwife Linda and aircrew, 7lb 8oz (3.4kg) Torran was born.

Mrs MacDonald said: "Torran is doing fine and we'd like to thank the coastguard, the midwife and the midwifery team at the hospital."

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Jonathan Mustard, aeronautical operations controller for HM Coastguard, said: "This is the second time that a baby has been born on board a coastguard helicopter.

"The last one was born over Lunna Holm, Shetland in December 2012.

"It's rare to hear that our helicopter launched with seven people on board but were preparing to land with eight. Congratulations, mum and dad."

Another boy was born onboard a Royal Navy rescue helicopter in 2013 on the way to Cornwall from the Isles of Scilly.

Image copyright Greg Caygill
Image caption Royal Cornwall NHS Trust said midwives train with the coastguard helicopter based at Newquay

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