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April Jones' sister in charity bid

The sister of April Jones is to take to the skies in a brave bid to thank a volunteer rescue team who risked their lives searching for the youngster.

April's disappearance last October prompted one of the biggest search missions in British police history.

Operation Tempest lasted almost eight months and involved 17 teams scouring 32 square kilometres of Welsh countryside - ranging from winding rivers, mountainous valleys and deep mine shafts.

Among those fighting tooth and nail to find April was the Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team.

Despite best efforts of the group and emergency crews, the only trace of April that has been found is a small fragment of her skull.

The youngster's devastated parents Paul and Coral, whose lives will never be the same again, say they have been deeply touched by people's kindness during their darkest hour.

So much so that April's half-sister Hazel Louise Jones said rescuers' bravery had inspired her to take part in a charity skydive this weekend. She announced the bold gesture via the JustGiving website.

Miss Jones wrote: "I will be doing a charity skydive for Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team because they showed amazing courage and dedication to the search of my little sister when she went missing.

"They battled all types of terrain and horrendous weather conditions, and although she was never found, they, like Paul, Coral and so many other people never gave up hope."

One of those groups who have particularly moved her family is the Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team. The independently funded group can be called upon to compliment specialist police teams in mountainous, remote and rough terrain. A spokesman said its operational costs were between £10,000 and £15,000 per year.

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