Firefighters return from Japan task

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FIREFIGHTERS from Hampshire who were sent to Japan to help with the rescue efforts after the devastating earthquake and tsunami have returned to the UK.

The 63-strong team arrived in Japan on Sunday, March 13.

But the combined US and UK search teams sadly didn’t find any survivors in the towns of Ofunato and Kamaishi.

John Bonney, chief officer of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘The tireless work that the team undertook in such challenging circumstances is a testament to both their professionalism and selflessness.

‘I would like to thank not only those who went to Japan, but also those who provided critical support from the UK to enable their successful deployment.’

The firefighters flew back to Manchester on Saturday night.

Stephen O’Brien, international development minister, said: ‘People in Hampshire should be proud of the team’s professionalism, dedication and courage.’