TODAY (May 17) Roger Phillips, 73, from Aberaeron in Ceredigion will set off on a 500-mile circular route around the North coast of Scotland. He has a very special reason for supporting the RNLI, having survived a dramatic incident where he almost drowned after becoming trapped in the wreckage of a sinking aircraft.

Roger, an RAF aircrew veteran was in Hong Kong when the dramatic incident happened 42 years ago. Today he wants to show his support to RNLI volunteers who save lives at sea and is supporting the RNLI’s Mayday mile fundraiser. This month people across Wales are covering at least one mile in any way they chose and raise vital funds to keep people safe on our coastline.

Roger will begin his journey from the village of Lochcarron and travel clockwise around the route. He has already raised £500 in support of the RNLI’s Mayday appeal and hoping his Just Giving efforts will be given a further boost now the challenge has got underway.

The helicopter which almost sank during the dramatic incident where Roger almost lost his life. (Credit RNLI)

Roger says: “On 19 April 1979, my aircraft crashed and I found myself trapped inside the wreckage of the aircraft as it sank in the South China Sea. By some miracle, or some may say divine intervention, I survived. I could have really done with the RNLI then.

“I’m raising funds for the charity because the crew are true heroes. Anyone who has met RNLI volunteer must be filled with admiration. Now as I find I have the time and the resources I would like to give something back.”

Catherine Jones, RNLI Community Manager says: “We have been truly overwhelmed by the amount of people across Wales doing some weird and wonderful things to complete their Mayday miles. Roger’s story really is an inspiration and we wish him all the very best with his ambitious challenge and hope he enjoys the experience.

“Every penny raised by Roger and those supporting our Mayday fundraising campaign will go towards our volunteer crews who are anticipating one of the busiest ever summers.”

Please visit Roger’s Just Giving page to support his challenge: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/walkthe500walkwithRoger