Routine exercise turns into a life-saving operation

An exercise involving pilots of the HMS Search and Rescue turned into a real rescue operation.

On a two-day training exercise in the picturesque Cowal Peninsula in the Scottish Highlands, the crew were accompanied by photographers from the Clyde Royal Navy base, there to document the operation, but the aim of what was supposed to be a routine training exercise suddenly changed when an urgent request was received to rescue a 14-week old child.

The call to the HMS Search and Rescue service was made necessary by the child’s critical condition and the fact that his parents had been told that the air ambulance from Aberdeen would not be available for at least 3 hours. Fortunately the Royal Navy helicopter was flying in Scottish skies and little Max and his family’s nightmare was transformed into a chance for survival.

The helicopter collected two doctors from Glasgow’s Sick Children’s Hospital at Yorkhill before flying to Strachur in Argyll when baby Max was waiting with suspected meningitis.

As soon as the doctors reached the pick-up point, they placed the baby in a yellow incubator for transportation to Yorkhill, where he was joined by his parents.

Max was treated in the Glasgow hospital, and has now recovered and returned home.

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