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Sailors pitch in for clean-up operation after devastating flash floods

The 35-strong team from the nearby Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose helped clear the beach area, houses and shops.

Sailors have rolled up their sleeves to help villagers clean up Coverack following a devastating flash flood earlier this week.

Bracing the wet weather on the Lizard Peninsular, the 35-strong team from the nearby Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose helped clear the beach area, houses and shops.

They also moved sandbags to protect houses in the village from any further flooding.

Commander Paul Harrison, who is the station commander, said: “Coverack is a neighbouring village to RNAS Culdrose and some of the Culdrose team live there.

“The flooding earlier in the week has left Coverack with a lot of mess. The clean-up operation is under control, but the village asked for a few more hands on deck to assist them, so we sent them some of our trainees and other volunteers.

“Community is important to us and we regularly get involved in local projects where we can help to make a difference.

“These kind of activities are beneficial to our trainees too. They help the sailors come together as a team and get ready for operations abroad.”

The team will be available over the weekend if the village needs them to assist again.

Chief Petty Officer John “Soups” Campbell, who lives in Coverack, is acting as the co-ordinator.

“We’ve basically responded to a request for manpower to help clean up the beach and the town. There is still a lot of silt and debris about,” he said.

“We are basically here to work with the local council and villagers and do what they need us to do.

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A driveway is lifted caused by water from flash flooding in the coastal village of Coverack (Ben Birchall/PA)

“The Coverack community is coping really well and the local authority has done a great job – we are simply giving them a hand. The weather is awful though and everyone has got a bit wet, but we are sailors and that’s what we are used to.”

The flash-flooding was the worst to hit Cornwall during the summer since the Boscastle disaster in 2004, in which 440 million gallons of water swept through the town, causing millions of pounds worth of damage and leaving some residents too traumatised to talk about what they saw.

The cost of repairs and insurance in Coverack is already estimated to be over £1 million, with structural damage to roads and buildings in the area.

Residents and business owners affected have already been told council reserves will be used to help repair the damage.

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