As­bestos fears over Sea Kings

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

ENGI­NEERS who worked on Sea King res­cue he­li­copters at a North Wales air­base are be­ing warned they may have been ex­posed to as­bestos.

The Min­istry of De­fence is ur­gently re­mov­ing parts sus­pected of con­tain­ing the harm­ful ma­te­rial from its air­craft, which have been in ser­vice since 1969.

The air­craft served with C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Val­ley, An­gle­sey, from 1996. They car­ried out hun­dreds of res­cue flights in Snow­do­nia and at sea dur­ing their 19 years ser­vice sav­ing count­less lives.

In 2015 the search and res­cue ser­vice was taken over by HM Coast­guard who have con­tracted with Bris­tow He­li­copters, who op­er­ate now base Siko­rsky S-92 air­craft at Caernar­fon Air­port.

Re­ports in one Sun­day news­pa­per said the warn­ing from the MoD comes after an of­fi­cial re­port into the death of an Aus­tralian ser­vice­man was at­trib­uted to ex­po­sure to as­bestos, petrol or other tox­ins while work­ing on a naval base.

Petty Of­fi­cer Greg Lukes, an avion­ics tech­ni­cian who main­tained Sea Kings in New South Wales in Aus­tralia, died four years ago from a rare, ag­gres­sive form of cancer.

The news­pa­per re­port sug­gests thou­sands of RAF and Royal Navy engi­neers may be af­fected, but pi­lots – who have in­cluded mem­bers of the Royal fam­ily in­clud­ing Prince Wil­liam who flew the air­craft at Val­ley and Prince An­drew, who flew it in the Falk­lands War – are not.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.