RAF jets 'caused chicks' deaths'
Thursday 21 June 2012
The RAF has been accused of causing the deaths of kittiwake chicks when jets flew low over their island nesting sites and scared tens of thousands of birds.
Youngsters were knocked into the sea and drowned in the mass panic which followed the training exercise over the Farne Islands off the Northumberland Coast on Tuesday.
Locals said they believed a no-fly zone over the wildlife haven was breached, and the National Trust, which manages the islands, will make an official complaint.
Andrew Douglas, who operates two visitor boats from Seahouses, was out at sea with a visitor group when the jets flew over.
He said: "The RAF went right over the top of the islands.
"You should have seen all the people's faces on the boat and seen all the birds go flying into the sky. It was not very nice.
"We have 80,000 pairs of birds here.
"The jets scared them and they knocked the chicks into the sea as they took off.
"I was under the impression there was a no-fly zone here during the breeding season.
"I don't know much about jets, but I would have thought it was really dangerous because if a plane sucked a bird into the engine it could come down."
Mr Douglas said bird numbers were down this year due to the poor weather.
Rain has flooded the puffins' burrows, killing their young.
"The birds have put up with some rubbish this year and the last thing they need is this disturbance."
The National Trust's head ranger on the Farnes, David Steel, voiced concerns on Twitter saying the RAF knew pilots were not supposed to allow jets to fly low over the islands, adding: "Another letter will be winging its way to them."
An RAF spokeswoman said: "Any complaints will be investigated thoroughly and should it be deemed that the rules have been broken, appropriate action will be taken."
Simon Lee, National Trust property manager for The Farne Islands, said: "It's true we've had a number of incidents of low flying jets across The Farne Islands. The matter is being investigated by both the RAF and the National Trust and we are both hoping for a speedy resolution imminently."
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Southampton: We are looking for Primary School ...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job * This is a new post...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Head of English requi...