UK Royal Navy to kick start Olympic torch race

Associated Press + More

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Royal Navy will be the first to welcome the Olympic torch.

The force's search and rescue squadron will greet the flame when it arrives May 18 from Athens aboard a special British Airways plane.

Organizers said Saturday the flame will stay a night at a Royal Navy air base in Culdrose, Cornwall, before it is flown to Land's End — the most westerly point in England — in a search and rescue helicopter.

From there, the torch will begin its journey across the U.K. in a relay that involves 8,000 torchbearers traveling 8,000 miles.

The torch is to reach the Olympic Stadium in London on the eve of July 27.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.