THE Balearic ministry of the Interior will buy a helicopter to attend to night time emergencies and rescues, something which is impossible at present, as the Guardia Civil helicopter is only operative during the day. This was announced yesterday by minister José María Rodríguez, after presenting rescue equipment ceded by his department to the Guardia Civil Mountain Rescue Group (GREIM). Among those present were Colonel in chief of the Guardia Civil 17th Sector Basilio Sánchez Rufo, and the director general of emergenices, Joan Pol. Rodriguez explained that the helicopter would be operative 24 hours a day, and would provide a service for the GREIM and also for the emergency services of each of the islands. This will prevent situations such as last June, when the port of Ciutadella in Minorca was hit by a meteotsunami and the emergency teams could not reach the neighbouring island until the following morning. And in Ibiza, a woman spent nearly 14 hours waiting to be rescued. “We knew where she was but could not reach her without a helicopter,” Rodriguez said, adding “we need to overcome the limitations of urgent transport to be able to tackle any situation as soon as it arises.”

Rodríguez went on to say that last year, GREIM carried out 54 mountain rescue operations, 40 of them by day with helicopter and 14 at night without.
Seven people died, 23 were injured and seven were unharmed in the incidents.
The material which has been ceded includes a specially modified stretcher, ropes for descent, cables and pulleys, and safety helmets.
Rodriguez said that this type of collaboration between official institutions benefited society.


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