News story

Baby born mid-flight in coastguard helicopter

Newquay Coastguard helicopter turned airborne maternity unit when a baby boy was born whilst the helicopter was in flight, 1400ft over Penzance, Cornwall.


HM Coastguard’s aeronautical rescue coordination centre, was called by South West ambulance at 1900 hrs to request assistance with a woman who had gone into labour whilst visiting the Isles of Scilly. Since there was not a midwife on the islands on Saturday 18 August the mum, ‘bump’ and dad needed to be evacuated from the islands to a hospital on the mainland.

The Newquay coastguard helicopter was scrambled, collected a midwife en route, touched down at St Mary’s airport, picked up the man and woman then began the trip to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske, near Truro. However, the baby boy was in such a hurry he decided to make a guest appearance onboard the aircraft. At 2053 hrs, with the help of the midwife and aircrew, the healthy baby boy was born.

Jonathan Mustard, aeronautical operations controller for HM Coastguard said:

“This is the second time in recent times, that a baby has been born on board a coastguard helicopter. The last one was born over Lunna Holm, Shetland in December 2012. We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to have played a part in the birth and are pleased that mum and baby are doing well. It’s rare to hear that our helicopter launched with 7 people on board, but were preparing to land with 8. Congratulations mum and dad!”

Published 22 August 2018