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Rachael Waite takes a 15,000ft dive for charity
WHEN her father broke both legs in a paragliding accident more than a decade ago, he had to be rescued by an RAF helicopter because the Yorkshire Air Ambulance did not exist.
Rachael Waite said since the service was subsequently formed, she had always been aware of its vital importance – and now she has sky-dived from 15,000 feet to raise £700 for the charity.
The 23-year-old Aviva employee, of Holgate , York, who took part in a tandem dive above Hibaldstow in Lincolnshire last weekend, was in freefall for a minute and then parachuted for about five minutes before landing safely.
She said: “It was brilliant – absolutely amazing. I didn’t really feel nervous beforehand. And to see everything floating before your eyes was fantastic.
“I was raising money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance as it is a charity which everyone could easily need the aid of.
“You could get lost walking in the hills, be in a car accident – or fall over 300ft on to the cliffs of the Yorkshire coast.
“My dad, Bob Waite, who was an avid and experienced paraglider – someone who jumps off buildings or cliffs with big parachutes – did the latter.
“He got caught up in the rotor of a wind turbine which collapsed his wing and left him falling 330ft towards the cliff.
“When he hit the ground, he smashed both of his legs, cracked a few ribs and, still conscious, was stranded on the cliffs.”
She said that because of the location of his fall, he had to be airlifted by the RAF to Scarborough Hospital, not knowing how serious his injuries were.
“He made a full recovery and now spends most of his weekends doing a less extreme sport; golf!
“But if he hadn’t got to a hospital quickly, he could have lost his legs which were badly smashed, or worse, died.
“This is why the Yorkshire Air Ambulance was set up in 2000, and has since been providing a life saving rapid response emergency service to five million people across four million acres of Yorkshire.”