Navy first aiders from RNAS Culdrose were among the first on the scene at a serious crash near Helston last week, throwing equipment over the fence to treat the injured.

A campervan and a car collided head on, directly outside the naval air station, just after 11am last Friday, leaving two people trapped and casualties having to be airlifted to hospital.

Despite being outside the base, a navy fire engine was immediately scrambled and was the first to arrive, with the crew cutting the roof off the car to release somebody trapped. An ambulance was also sent from the base and first aiders went out to help - one of them being on his last day in the Royal Navy, before leaving to become, ironically, a paramedic.

Terry Lander, who works on the base, said: "We were on the other side of the fence when it happened and didn't see the impact, but the damage was obvious. A first aider from Culdrose, Simmo, was trying to consider the fastest route out so we gave him a lift out and waded through the traffic.

"The casualties were being dealt with, so we got a couple of small first aid kits thrown over the fence and stood waiting for the emergency services. Culdrose Fire were quick to respond and soon blue lights were everywhere."

"While there I saw one of the casualties dealing with her injuries admirably. I wished I could help her, a natural instinct I'm sure, though she had the attention she needed. She was only young and had visible injuries to her face. The other two were trapped in their vehicles."

Another member of navy personnel wrote on Twitter: "Glad to hear that nobody was seriously hurt, it was a huge crash right outside our office window."

Emergency services initially feared that the casualties had sustained serious injuries, airlifting them to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

However, police later confirmed that the injuries caused in the accident were neither life threatening or life changing.

Emergency services came from all directions, with fire crews from Helston, Mullion and Tolvaddon sent, as well as police from different towns.

The crash, which took place near the Gunwalloe turning on the main Helston to Lizard Peninsula road past RNAS Culdrose, caused severe traffic problems.

Vehicles heading towards Helston were at a standstill, while police closed the road at roundabout at the top of Meneage Road, known locally as the Cottage Hospital roundabout.

Many vehicles attempted to divert via the back roads around Gweek, which also became heavily congested.

First Kernow warned customers that that all its bus services running past RNAS Culdrose were delayed.