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Baby boy born in coastguard helicopter after islands alert

Alicia MacDonald, from Inverness, was visiting the Isles of Scilly when she went into labour.

Coastguard: Alicia MacDonald went into labour while visiting the Isles of Scilly.
Coastguard: Alicia MacDonald went into labour while visiting the Isles of Scilly. Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Cornwall

An Inverness mother gave birth to her son in a coastguard hospital over Cornwall.

Alicia MacDonald was visiting the Isles of Scilly with husband Sandy when she went into labour on Saturday night.

There was no midwife on the islands so the only way the she could get to the mainland quickly was with the help of HM Coastguard.

The Newquay Coastguard helicopter was scrambled around 7pm and, after collecting midwife Linda Benson, it took off from St Mary's Airport on Scilly for the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

But while they were 1,400ft over Penzance baby Torran made an appearance.

Coastguard: Torran was born 1,400ft over Penzance.
Coastguard: Torran was born 1,400ft over Penzance. Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Cornwall

Jonathan Mustard, aeronautical operations controller for HM Coastguard, said Torran, who weighed 7lb 8oz, was the second baby to be born on board a coastguard helicopter.

The first arrived in December 2012 over Lunna Holm, Shetland

He said: "It's rare to hear that our helicopter launched with seven people on board but were preparing to land with eight."

Ms MacDonald said: "Torran is doing fine and we'd like to thank the coastguard, the midwife and the midwifery team at the hospital."

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