Culdrose responds to snow by helping the Community
We were well warned by the forecasters about the bad weather this week. But with such extreme conditions, there is always an opportunity to help out. Just like many around the southwest and across the whole country, personnel from RNAS Culdrose were prepared to do their bit:
On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the airfield saw between 10 and 15cm cm of snow. By Thursday afternoon the gale force, gusting storm force, easterly winds associated with Storm Emma were whipping up the snow and making it drift. The A3083 Helston to Lizard road near the airfield was getting covered in snow, so much so that some motorists became stuck. Petty Officer Jimmy Cantwell from 829 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) based at Culdrose is used to working with Merlin helicopters, not pulling cars out of snow drifts. Late on Thursday evening, he and some of his friends found themselves helping stranded motorists. Jimmy said:
“We had a 4 x 4 and just wanted to help a mate who was stuck. We saw there were loads of people unable to move their cars. The snow was over the bonnets of their cars. We wrapped up warm but, the conditions of drifting snow were horrendous. ”
Jimmy was out in the cold between 8pm and 10pm on Thursday night. He was joined by a number of his friends, Gordon Smith from 849 NAS, Darren Cowen and Patrick Scott from 829 NAS, and Gareth Reid from the Sports Centre. Naval training prepares you for dealing with most things that are sent your way. Coping and responding to difficult situations is something that is part of life in the Royal Navy. Jimmy and his friends were just doing their bit to help others who needed some assistance.
More used to clearing roads were members of Culdrose Motor Transport Department. They have snow plough equipment that is used to clear the runways and taxi ways of the Air Station. They found themselves helping to clear the main road that runs around much of Culdrose, on both Thursday and Friday. They also have 4 x 4 vehicles that helped too. Ewan Arkison, the Operations Manager, said that they felt they wanted to help the local community and assist with getting the road clear.
The falcons of the RNAS Culdrose Wildlife Control Unit have been saved from a very chilly death thanks to the commitment of Petty Officer Terry Duffield Royal Naval Reserve. The unit, which protects the Air Station from bird strikes, has several birds living at the Air Station. However, when their trusty Land Rover broke down in the snow this week, the two falconers were unable to get into work and the Falcons could not be fed. One Sparrow Hawk Flic is so tiny that she requires feeding every day. Petty Officer Duffield came to the rescue; he battled through the snow and saw to all the birds’ needs ensuring their survival.