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hiowaafamilyday_021400PICTURE GALLERY: The first Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Family Day, held at Sandown Airport yesterday (Sunday), proved to be a popular success with Islanders turning up in their hundreds to support the life-saving charity and to enjoy the glorious late Summer sunshine.

Car parks were full by lunchtime with visitors heading to the Island’s airport to enjoy a wide mix of stalls, crafts, children’s rides and a variety of classic cars, as well as the Island’s emergency services including West Wight Police, Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team and the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service. Music was presented by Vectis Corps of Drums and Toca Bonito.

hiowaafamilyday_010St John’s Ambulance attended the event to give out vital first aid information and demonstrations, whilst the Army Cadet Group help to spread awareness of what opportunities are available for youngsters. Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat were busy fundraising alongside the official air ambulance stall selling merchandise.

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The red and yellow helicopter was the star of the day after flying in to land in front of crowds in the afternoon, having been on a series of call outs throughout the day which resulted in the delayed arrival. The crew were more than happy to interact with families, who were fascinated by the helicopter as they got up close and personal – a rare opportunity for Islanders, who often see the helicopter performing medical evacuations.

hiowaafamilyday_018Following their 3 day, 62 mile skate around the coastline of the Isle of Wight, a group of longboarders gathered for a group photo with the HIOWAA crew making for an impressive photograph.

Taking advantage of the dry and warm weather, crowds gathered on the grass with ice creams and picnics overlooking the runway, with a medley of planes taking off and landing throughout the day.

Commenting last night, Island Echo readers have said they thoroughly enjoyed the day, that it was well organised and that they would like to see it return next year. There have been calls to expand the event for 2015, building on the success of this year’s event.

This week celebrates National Air Ambulance Week.

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