The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has been taken offline after suffering a mechanical breakdown during a shout on the Island this afternoon (Monday).
Specialist doctors were called to a trauma incident at Niton Undercliff at just before 14:30. A male patient was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital by land ambulance a short while later, as previously reported.
Island Echo can now reveal that the recognisable yellow and green helicopter has been sat in a field off St Catherine’s Road since touching down on the Island this afternoon. That means the helicopter has been unavailable for emergencies across the region for over 8 hours – although the charity’s critical response cars are thought to be operating as normal on the mainland.
Engineers from Babcock aviation services have arrived in Niton to assist in getting the aircraft back into an operational state and airborne to the air ambulance base at Thruxton, near Andover.
It is presumed that the specialist HEMS team made their own way back to the mainland after dealing with the emergency earlier on today.
UPDATE 00:38 – The aircraft has now been repaired and is expected to take flight at around first light.
Island Echo understands that a broken door hinge resulted in the temporary grounding of the helicopter.
Security guards are keeping a watchful eye on the helicopter overnight.
UPDATE TUESDAY @ 07:35 – The helicopter has now successfully taken off from Niton Undercliff and is heading back to Thruxton as planned.
Once re-stocked and crewed, the air ambulance is expected to once again be available to respond to emergencies across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
HIOWAA has been approached for a statement but they have failed to respond