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Medical emergency on board causes delays on Gatwick services

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A MEDICAL emergency resulted in flight delays over the weekend.

(Picture by Peter Frankland, 26053771)

The delays affected Aurginy’s Gatwick services following the incident on Friday evening, and ran into Saturday.

Aurigny chief executive Mark Darby apologised to passengers affected by the disruption.

‘The delays were a result of one of our customers being taken seriously ill on one of the flights operated by our Embraer jet yesterday afternoon,’ he said on Saturday.

‘To assist the passenger, we used up quite a lot of the oxygen that we carry on the aircraft for such eventualities and this meant that we had to replace one of the bottles before the aircraft could return to Guernsey.’

Oxygen bottles are treated as dangerous goods and require specific documentation procedures. This took some time to complete on Friday.

‘We eventually got the replacement bottle to Gatwick and the jet resumed its flying,’ Mr Darby said.

‘Unfortunately, in spite of the very best efforts of our ground staff and flight crew to turn our aircraft around as quickly as possible, we were unable to complete the flying programme before Guernsey Airport closed at 11.45pm – it normally closes at 9pm.

This meant the last flight to Guernsey on Friday was cancelled and the passengers were given hotel accommodation.

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Due to the busy schedule on Saturday, Aurigny put on an extra flight in the morning to try and catch up with the passenger backlog.

Mr Darby said the ill patient had been taken to hospital.

Gatwick flights were getting back on track by Saturday lunchtime.

This led to some change of plans for local sports teams.

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Guernsey FC, who played Barking in the FA Trophy on Saturday, flew to Southampton and had a longer coach journey to London.

Guernsey Raiders were also affected and the kick-off of their match in London was delayed until 4pm.

The Guernsey Ladies Rugby match kicked off on time.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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