Simon Le Bon hails air ambulance service

Thursday November 1, 2012

Simon Le Bon has revealed how a dramatic sea rescue saved his life - and inspired him to campaign for the Air Ambulance Service.

The Duran Duran singer was speaking in London at the launch of the Children's Air Ambulance, a new helicopter service dedicated to transporting critically ill children and babies.

Simon revealed a personal incident that led to him calling the air ambulance service 25 years ago: "I had a bad experience with a boat called Drum which lost its keel during the FastNet Race. I was rescued by the Royal Navy and their helicopter and diver. So I've experienced helicopter rescue first hand."

"I was in an air pocket inside a boat that was upside down for an hour. The first sign of hope was when a Navy diver popped up and said 'I'm going to get you guys out of here'. The relief and elation that the six of us who were inside felt was incredible."

The 54-year-old musician said the rescue team "most definitely" saved his life and made him realise helicopter services play an "absolutely crucial" role.

The Children's Air Ambulance is the country's first dedicated air ambulance for critically ill children and babies, according to organisers, and hopes to start flights early next year and make 400 flights a year.

But the service relies on charitable donations and needs to raise £545,000 before becoming operational next year.

Photo: © PA

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