Stornoway RNLI team responds to Tornado crash

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TWO RAF Tornado GR4 pilots were forced to eject from their aircraft over the Minch this afternoon (Thursday, January 27), following a Mayday call.

As the need for Stornoway Coastguard station is debated at a public meeting in Stornoway Primary tonight, the island’s rescue chopper – along with Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat, the Tom Sanderson – was called into action shortly before 3pm.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed that a chopper launch request was made by the Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre at Kinloss at 14.43pm.

The Sikorsky helicopter was put up shortly after receiving the request and Stornoway RNLI launched minutes before 3 o’clock.

The MCA spokesman continued that the search and rescue chopper quickly located two dinghies in the water, successfully picked up the two airman, and transferred them to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

As yet, there is no information from the RAF/MOD as to what caused the pilots to eject from their aircraft, or the fate of the plane.