Rescued RAF veteran “Walks 500 Miles” for the RNLI Mayday appeal

Lifeboats News Release

Today Roger Phillips, 73, from Aberaeron, Ceredigion will set off on a 500-mile circular route around the North coast of Scotland. He has a 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 will set off on his fundraising mission today

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.

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:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI media manager in Wales and the North West on 07786 668829 or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

The helicopter which almost sank during the dramatic incident where Roger almost lost his life.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.