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Two rescued as RAF plane hits sea

Two RAF crew members have been rescued after their Tornado jet came down in the sea off the west coast of Scotland.

The crew, from RAF Lossiemouth, ejected from the plane before it landed in the waters at Loch Ewe, near Gairloch, Wester Ross.

They were airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness following the incident.

Coastguard and lifeboat crews, including Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) tug, the Anglian Earl, were scrambled to the scene shortly before 2.45pm on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the MCA said they received a Mayday request from Kinloss at 2.43pm and two people and two life rafts were found in the water. "They were winched from the water to the helicopter and taken to hospital," she said.

A coastguard helicopter was scrambled six miles north-west of Rubha Reidh, close to the entrance of Loch Ewe.

An RAF spokeswoman said: "We are aware of an incident involving an RAF aircraft off the coast of Scotland. We will update you as more information becomes available."

A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Airports said: "We can confirm that, at 14.42 today, Stornoway Airport was advised of the possible diversion of a Tornado military aircraft which was in need of assistance. A full-scale emergency was declared but emergency services have since been stood down."

A Ministry Of Defence spokesman said later: "The crew of a Tornado GR4 from RAF Lossiemouth have been airlifted to hospital in Inverness, where they are being treated for their injuries. They ejected from their aircraft off the south coast of Stornoway and were rescued within 15 minutes.

"The next of kin have been informed. It is too early to say what caused the incident but a full investigation will take place."

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