A WARNING has been issued to drone pilots after an air ambulance was delayed at the scene of an emergency because one was flying too close to the helicopter.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service was preparing to transport a patient to hospital from an incident in County Durham recently when medics noticed a drone nearby.

They had to wait for it to move away before they were able to make their potentially life-saving journey.

A GNAAS spokesperson said: "Our critical care team recently attended an incident in Stanley and whilst loading the patient into the helicopter, became aware of a drone flying in close proximity.

"This led to a delay of five minutes before our helicopter could take-off and get our patient to hospital.

"If you own a drone, please fly responsibly."

Other emergency services have shared the warning, in a bid to increase safety awareness among drone users.