Night Flying Technology Funded By Milligan Appeal

New Night Flying Technology for Cornwall Air Ambulance has been wholly funded in memory of a father and daughter killed in a tragic speedboat accident in 2013.

In the aftermath of the accident in the Padstow estuary, which took the lives of Nick and Emily Milligan, friends and family united to raise money for charitable causes in their memory.

Over £250,000 was raised at a memorial evening in February. The money has wholly funded the new technology, which will allow the charity-funded emergency helicopter to fly into the hours of darkness from early 2015.

The donation is the largest single donation ever made to the charity.

The cheque was presented to the charity on Wednesday (18th June 2014) by Victoria Milligan, the wife of Nick and mother of Emily, together with Nick's brother Max Milligan.

Victoria, speaking at the event in Newquay, said: "It was so important to the family to support a local Cornish charity as this place meant so much to them.

"We have spent many happy family holidays here and Cornwall is their favourite place in the world.

"The new helicopter is to be named after Nick and Emily, and it gives me great comfort to think of them flying around Cornwall saving lives together.

"We wanted to leave a lasting legacy for them and we are so grateful to everyone who has helped us achieve the target of £250,000 to fund this night flying technology."

The technology includes Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) Goggles for crewmembers, specially adapted cockpit technology and a powerful searchlight.

Paula Martin, Chief Executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance, said: "Out of such tragedy last summer has come this wonderful gift to the air ambulance - and the people of Cornwall.

"This very significant donation will enable the most significant step change in our service delivery in recent years, and help to save many lives in the future.

"Every time we fly a mission in the hours of darkness, it will be this technology and this incredible donation, which will be making it possible.

"On behalf of everyone involved in the charity, I want to thank all those who helped raise the money, and in particular Victoria Milligan for choosing this most Cornish of charities to help carry the memory of Nick and Emily."

The new aircraft, equipped with the new Night Flying Technology, will go into service in early December, with the first flights after nightfall expected to take place in January 2015.

The technology will increase the helicopter's winter hours of operation from 8 to 12 hours per day.