The Royal Air Force has been tasked with delivering emergency supplies to isolated parts of the northwest UK that have been cut off by heavy snow in the wake of Storm Emma.
A Chinook from No 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham, Hampshire, flew in to Carlisle Airport, Cumbria to provide relief for isolated communities. The helicopter carried supplies including food, coal and logs for heating, and electrical heating appliances. Crews and survival equipment specialists from No 27 Squadron were accompanied by Royal Marines.
No 27 Squadron Survival Equipment specialists arrived early on March 5 to ready the gear required by the aircrew and air traffic controllers were also called upon to assist with the safe departure of the aircraft. The Chinook got airborne early the same morning to enable the RAF team to be on task to begin providing assistance as soon as possible.
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Some parts of Cumbria have been cut off for five days by snow and with roads still not clear, and certain areas are expected to remain isolated for another 48 hours.
Wg Cdr Gary Lane, the RAF’s regional liaison officer for the northwest, said: “The Chinook helicopter gives the partnership another dimension to be able to deliver vital supplies by air to areas that are cut off by other means.”