A PILOT has swapped sojourns over the North Sea for emergency missions with the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

Keith Chick spent 26 years ferrying offshore workers on North Sea oil routes, but has now joined the charity as a relief pilot.

Mr Chick, a father-of-two, who lives near Consett, County Durham, said he was excited to join the service.

He said: "I was made up to get the job and look forward to working alongside these brilliant doctors and paramedics on a regular basis."

A spokesman for GNAAS said: “Keith has already flown his first shifts across the North-East and Cumbria and is already making a positive impact on people's lives in our communities.”