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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Service for air crash victims
Christopher Bailey
Christopher Bailey was one of the cadets who died
A memorial service has been held to remember three air cadets killed in a helicopter crash in north Wales 10 years ago.

Mark Oakden and Amanda Whitehead, from Bury, and Chris Bailey, of Horwich, Greater Manchester - all Air Training Corps cadets - were in an RAF Valley helicopter when it plunged into Llyn Padarn in Llanberis in 1993.

Memorial plaques placed at the lakeside after the tragedy have been restored and were rededicated in the service.

Nearly 50 cadets from the East Lancashire wing of the Air Training Corps (ATC) attend the service.

The cadets were on a training exercise with three crew members from the Search and Rescue Training Unit from RAF Valley when the engine of their Wessex helicopter failed over Llanberis.

A fourth cadet, 17-year-old Sarah Coker from Bolton and the crew members were injured in the crash, but survived.

Wreaths from the victims' families and from officers from the East Lancashire wing, who also attended the training camp at RAF Valley with those who died 10 years ago, were laid before the Last Post was played.

Mark Oakden
Mark Oakden also lost his life
The service was led by the wing's chaplain, Rev Fred Cooke, and Squadron Leader Peter Rowan opened the service at 1400 BST with a reading.

He said: "We come here today to remember Mark, Amanda and Chris and to give thanks for the lives of those who survived.

"In doing so we cannot let the occasion pass without acknowledging the dedication and skill of the members of the Air-Sea Rescue units around our coast.

"It was a particular tragedy in 1993 that the accident occurred to an aircraft whose primary role was to save life."

The refurbishment of the memorial was arranged by the ATC's Eryri squadron, who were also present in the service.

Chairman of its civilian committee, Richard Foxhall, said: "The three that died were from the Bury and Horwich squadrons.

Lakeside service at Llyn Padarn
Cadets from the ATC's East Lancashire wing were in attendance
"It could have been any one of the 45 or so who attended the camp that summer.

"I went up to see the memorial this week and I was pleased to see the poppies we had placed there on Remembrance Day had been respected.

"It was such an unfortunate tragedy to have happened."

Mr Foxhall also paid tribute to the committee's former chairman, Richard Taylor, who died only 11 days ago.

"He was key in helping the parents and families of the three who died when they came to place flowers at the lakeside and in helping Sarah Coker while she was in hospital here," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Watching tragedy unfold
10 Aug 03  |  Wales
Cadet crash driver jailed
20 Dec 01  |  England
Death group guide 'not to blame'
14 Dec 00  |  Scotland


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