Like most people television star Lorraine Kelly has never required the services of Lossiemouth’s SAR helicopters.
Unlike most people Lorraine has experienced first-hand the dangerous job that has been carried out by brave rescue crews over the years – and that is why she is determined that Moray should be offered the chance of obtaining a permanent reminder of their work.
That is why the star of breakfast television is getting firmly behind the bid by Morayvia to clinch a deal on one of the two RAF Lossiemouth-based Sea Kings, urging the defence ministers to transfer one of the aircraft to the Moray heritage group in April.
Along with all military SAR helicopters, the Moray aircraft will cease service at the end of March to be replaced by a new civilian-run service based in Inverness. It is not yet known what the Ministry of Defence intends to do with the aircraft – and that is why Morayvia are pressing hard for one of them to remain in Moray.
Morayvia’s Mark Mair said: “Support has continued to pour in for our effort and we are extremely grateful for that – but we need more, much more, if this bid is to be successful.
“I have known Lorraine for some time and know how passionately she feels about this, at the end of the day it is not just passion that will ensure a Sea King remains in Moray, it will need common sense and goodwill, hopefully that will happen.”
Joining actress Joanna Lumley, who yesterday gave her firm backing to the bid, Lorraine said: “I give my full support to a group that’s fighting to retain the iconic Sea King which has provided a service second to none.
“Having visited and flown with the crews at Lossiemouth it was a no-brainer to help Mark and his group to retain this machine.”
It is not yet known if Morayvia would need to purchase the Sea King even at scrap value – but the group are pressing ahead with their fundraising efforts to ensure that they are in a position to do so if required.
Lorraine Kelly has agreed to sign a model of a Sea King aircraft, while today insideMoray will be placing an auction for the final print – issue one of ten – created by Morayvia and signed by the crew of a Lossiemouth Sea King following a mission on New Year’s Day.