The Isle of Wight community is rallying round lifesaving charity Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, after it received a complaint about how low its helicopter flew over houses in the early hours of the morning.

On social media, the team shared a message sent to its HQ.

It said: "Can you explain why you decided to flt at 1750ft, from St Mary's Hospital to Southampton General Hospital, at 4am, over residential properties - waking up occupants?

"Inconsiderate I think, will no longer be donating to your cause."

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Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which transfers critically ill Isle of Wight patients to hospital and carries out crucial life-saving missions, tweeted: "We always try our best to be there for the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, but messages like this, really affect morale.

"We are sorry the helicopter wakes people up at night.

"It is not our intention to disrupt your evening, but rather save someone's life."

A storm of protest on social media saw the complainant branded 'selfish'.

One Islander wrote: "We need to increase awareness of a lifeline we rely on as Islanders!"

The charity recently launched its Christmas fundraising appeal...

Isle of Wight County Press: The team responding to a car crash in Ashey, near Ryde.The team responding to a car crash in Ashey, near Ryde.

After hundreds of comments and retweets, the air ambulance later posted: "We are genuinely overwhelmed by your kind replies.

"Sadly, this isn't the first time we've had a complaint like this and it probably won't be our last.

"It's reassuring to know you are there for us."

As previously reported by the County Press, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance responded to 134 potentially life-saving callouts last December, including five on Christmas day and it costs the air ambulance charity approximately £15,000 a day to maintain its service, across the Isle of Wight and Hampshire.

Each mission costs on average £2,882.

Its pilots, doctors, and paramedics have been called out to 1,363 emergency missions so far in 2021.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.