A PARAGLIDER who narrowly escaped an 80ft fall has met the air ambulance crew who saved his life.
Dave Tighe, 42, was paragliding in the Lake District when the wing of his aircraft collapsed shortly after take-off. He fell 80ft, suffering multiple life-threatening injuries, at Tarn Crag in Great Langdale in May last year.
Mr Tighe who lives in Hutton, Lancashire, broke his spine and is now over 3cm shorter. He has little recollection of the incident but recently made a visit to the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s (GNAAS) Langwathby airbase to meet those that flew him to hospital and to try and piece together what happened.
The father-of-two and his fiancée Karin Delday also handed over more than £1,500 which they raised by taking on the Village Bakery Wrexham Half Marathon in North Wales earlier this month.
The couple donated further funds to Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team which was involved in the life-saving operation.
Mr Tighe who works as a medic on a North Sea oil platform said: “The training and the run itself has helped me greatly with recovery and mobility. I needed something to challenge me so I could get back to some reasonable fitness and to raise money for two fantastic causes that came to my aid.
“It was an extra focus to drive my training forward and it certainly spurred us on. Family cheered for us at the end. It felt great.”
The pair both finished the run in under two hours.
Speaking of the visit Mr Tighe said: “We really enjoyed meeting the crew and it was great to chat to Terry about the day I vaguely remember, and to say thanks in person. I feel very lucky and so glad to be alive.”
Paramedic Terry Sharpe said: “It is brilliant to see Dave looking so well. It was a real team effort between us, mountain rescue and the RAF, as well as bystanders first at the scene on the day.
“The funds raised will be used to save lives and we really appreciate their efforts.”