Helicopter airlifts ill woman from Fair Isle in thick mist

An elderly woman who fell ill had to be airlifted by helicopter from Fair Isle on Friday morning after thick mist prevented her being taken out by plane.

The Sumburgh-based coastguard rescue helicopter responded to a call for help from the RAF Kinloss search and rescue centre but it was forced to land at the helipad at the south Fair Isle lighthouse at 8.30am because poor visibility prevented it from landing at the more widely used fixed-wing airstrip.

The mist was so thick during the evacuation visibility was reduced to around 150 to 200 metres.

The 75-year-old diabetic woman, whose nose had started badly bleeding, was taken to Sumburgh Airport where she was transferred by ambulance to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick.

The Lerwick lifeboat had also been on standby in case the helicopter was unable to make a safe landing in Fair Isle.

Coastguard watch manager David Robinson said: “This was an urgent medical rescue carried out in challenging visibility.

“The incident required a high level of professionalism from all involved, especially the crew of the coastguard helicopter.”


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