Chopper flies in aid... thanks to Google Earth

PUBLISHED: 12:57 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 10:33 12 August 2010

A POLICEMAN helped direct a helicopter laden with urgent medical supplies to a hospital on an island devastated by an earthquake.

A POLICEMAN helped direct a helicopter laden with urgent medical supplies to a hospital on an island devastated by an earthquake.

Ieuan Hill, trustee of West Wickham-based charity Haiti Hospital Appeal, used Google Earth website to help bring in a United Nations helicopter safely after pilots were given the wrong coordinates.

The Greenwich borough sergeant has been given two weeks' special leave, plus his own three weeks' annual leave, to organise an aid effort at the charity's hospital near Cap-Haitien, in the north of Haiti island.

He has taken over from his brother, charity co-founder Carwyn Hill, and wife Reninca to let them have a break from providing exhausting, round-the-clock help to hundreds of victims recovering from January's earthquake and aftershocks.

The police sergeant said in his latest communication: "Carwyn and Reninca left to go on holiday and left me in charge. The first thing I had to deal with in their absence was to arrange the landing of a helicopter with more medical supplies.

"Unfortunately, they had been provided with the wrong coordinates so with the aid of Google Earth I managed to supply the correct details of a heli-pad about a two-minute walk from the site here."

Since arriving last Tuesday

with wife Angela, a qualified

physiotherapist, he has had to deal with unreliable generators giving him electric shocks.

"It has been fantastic to see how things have progressed here after the earthquake," he said.

"Angela has been assisting with the care of patients and has started to get to grips with some of the particular needs of our patients and has done some training with staff.

"I have been working through a pile of electrical problems and logistical issues.

"We dispatched another truck full of aid this morning and have another few truckloads from the containers still to distribute. We expect the next container soon."

In February, generous residents from Bromley and surrounding boroughs donated clothes and other practical items to help thousands of refugees in Haiti left without a home or belongings.

Three 40ft containers crammed with beds, water, medical supplies and clothes were shipped out.

To help the charity or for information about the relief effort, visit

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