Sea King diverted from demo by real-life call out
12:26pm Monday 20th August 2012 in County News
A Sea King helicopter which flew into Pembrokeshire for an air-sea rescue demonstration on Sunday evening was diverted to a real-life emergency.
The aircraft, from RAF Chivenor, was just seconds away from linking up with the all-weather Tenby lifeboat, the Haydn Miller, for the display when it flew away across Carmarthen Bay.
Two young women holidaymakers who were in danger of being cut off by the tide between Pendine and Ginst Point were airlifted inland to safety by the helicopter and met by Tenby and Manorbier coastguard rescue teams.
Tenby inshore lifeboat was also dispatched to the incident shortly before 6.30pm.
"The girls were totally disorientated and lost, and as the helicopter was in the area, we decided it was the best method of rescue," said a spokesman for Milford Haven coastguard.
Meanwhile, spectators who had gathered to watch the lifeboat and helicopter display, organised as part of Tenby RNLI 's open day, experienced first-hand the unpredictable existence of the rescue services.
"We had a lifeboat crew member in the water who was due to be winched up by the helicopter, but on its approach it was diverted to the call near Pendine," said Tenby RNLI's Bobby James.
"At least people got sight of the Sea King - at this time of the year the helicopters cover such a huge area that we were very lucky to have an appearance. It just proves to the public how busy they are."