Legacy will aid night flying

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More than £250k has been raised to fund new flying technology for the Cornwall Air Ambulance.

In the aftermath of the tragic speedboat accident in the Padstow estuary last year, which took the lives of Nick and Emily Milligan, friends and family united to raise money for charitable causes in their memory.

A cheque was handed over to Paula Martin, chief executive for the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, last month by Victoria Milligan, the wife of Nick and mother of Emily, together with Nick’s brother Max Milligan.

Speaking from the air ambulance headquarters in Newquay, Victoria Milligan said: “It was important to the family to support a local Cornish charity as this place meant so much to them.

Victoria Milligan (l) with air ambulance chief executive, Paula Martin
Victoria Milligan (l) with air ambulance chief executive, Paula Martin

“We have spent many happy family holidays here. Cornwall is their favourite place in the world.

“We wanted to leave a lasting legacy for them and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped us to achieve the target of £250k for the night flying technology.

“The new helicopter is to be named after Nicko and Emily, and it gives me great comfort to think of them flying round Cornwall together saving lives.”

Paula Martin from Cornwall Air Ambulance, added: “Out of such tragedy last summer has come this wonderful gift to the air ambulance and the people of Cornwall.

“This very substantial donation will enable the most significant step change in our service delivery in recent years, and help to save many lives in the future.”

Following recent changes in aviation law, the new Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopters will be capable of flying in the hours of darkness thanks to new on-board equipment, some of which was shown to Victoria and Max Milligan during their visit to the trust.

The new aircraft are due to go into service early December and the charity anticipates they will begin flying after nightfall in January of 2015 once crew training and familiarisation has taken place.