AN airman who flew choppers with Prince William has proved his rare form of bone marrow cancer was caused by the RAF Sea King.
Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings was diagnosed with multiple myeloma after years of inhaling toxic exhaust fumes spewed from the powerful twin engines of the now retired aircraft.
And last month, the winch operator won a settlement from the Ministry of Defence after a six-year legal battle. Zach has been paid an undisclosed sum and the MoD had to admit in writing his 15 years of service in the RAF caused his life-threatening condition.
It will likely spark concern for the royals. Wills flew the Sea King in 150 search-and-rescue operations over a three-year period. It is not known if he was affected by the fumes. Prince Andrew also flew the aircraft in the Falklands in 1982.
And The Sun can lift the lid on an apparent government cover-up of the issue. Bombshell documents uncovered by Zach during his legal fight prove experts warned the MoD of the dangers of the Sea King exhaust as far back as 1999 but nothing was done.
Zach, 42, of Cardiff, said: “The Government chose to ignore it. It’s a scandal.”
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A new report by Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health in Ireland, has found strong public support for increased State investment in mental health services.
A survey carried out by the coalition found that 84% of respondents thought that the health service places too little focus on mental health.
The study found that the public are willing to invest more in mental healthcare when compared to other related healthcare programmes.
Mental Health Reform says staffing in mental health services is lower now than it was in 2008 and it is calling on the Government to boost investment in the area.
Note the graph below only includes personnel for whom we have death certificates for. We are in the process of verifying many more deaths, most of which relate to the earlier decades.
Prevention is better than cure.
If the government bother to medically & scientifically investigate the mental health illness cluster at the #IrishAirCorps where at least 13 serving & former personnel have killed themselves since 1980 they might learn something about environmental causes & triggers of mental health problems.
We suspect hydrocarbon fuels, engine exhausts, isocyanates, VOCs etc all have a part to play and the civilian population get exposed to these too but usually at lower levels.
So far the state have only sent in barristers. Think about it 65 men dead at an average age of 49 years and all the state can mobilise is barristers.
In the absence of military or government statistics on untimely deaths in the Irish Air Corps we created our own. We are happy to have these tested or even proven wrong by better statistics gathered by the state in a comprehensive, open and transparent manner. #WeAreNotStatisticians