Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Chivenor winter rescue fears end

RMB Chivenor
Fears remain about the long-term future of the service

Plans to cut search and rescue operations at RMB Chivenor in north Devon this winter have been scrapped.

Twenty four-hour cover will continue throughout January and February, said the Ministry of Defence.

It had planned to reduce cover for six weeks after some crew members were deployed to Afghanistan.

But the plan has been scrapped because new crew members have been put in place, making the reduction unnecessary.

RMB Chivenor could still see its night flights being cut in 2012 because the government says a fleet of new rescue helicopters coming into service will be faster than current aircraft.

Campaigners say this will put lives at risk as a third of callouts responded to by RMB Chivenor are at night.

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