Published: 04/07/2012 10:31 - Updated: 05/07/2012 13:42

Hopes are fading for missing Lossiemouth airmen

Wreckage from one of the jets was transported to Buckie Harbour.
Wreckage from one of the jets was transported to Buckie Harbour.

HOPES are fading fast for the lives of two airmen whose jet crashed into the Moray Firth.

A rescue operation got under way following yesterday afternoon’s incident which involved two jets.

But the search has not resumed today and a pilot and navigator are still missing.

It is believed two Tornado GR4s from RAF Lossiemouth were involved a mid-air collision in the Beatrice oil field 25km south of Wick around 1.50pm.

Two men were rescued from one of the jets and were transferred to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. Their condition is still unknown.

Wick lifeboat staff joined crews from Buckie and Invergordon, as well as rescue teams from RAF Kinloss and Aberdeen coastguard, in yesterday’s search.

This morning the Wick lifeboat, Roy Barker II, was docked at the town’s harbour.

Captain Ian Gale, station commander at RAF Lossiemouth, said the circumstances surrounding the incident were uncertain.

“The thoughts of everyone here are with the families and friends of those involved. As I’m sure you will understand, this is an evolving situation and, as such, I am not prepared to comment at this time on their condition or speculate on the circumstances surrounding this incident.

“However, I can confirm that two individuals have been recovered and two remain unaccounted for.

“I am confident that the Tornado aircraft on this station are operated as safely as they possibly can be, however, this incident is a stark reminder that the military operations and training we conduct are not without risk.

“What happened is under investigation and more details will be released by the Royal Air Force in due course.”

The public are advised that if they find any debris from the aircraft they should contact police immediately on 01463 715555.

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