Dave Tighe meets Great North Air Ambulance pilot Owen McTaggart, left, paramedic Terry Sharpe and Dr Chris Smith, right. Photo: GNAAS

Dave Tighe meets Great North Air Ambulance pilot Owen McTaggart, left, paramedic Terry Sharpe and Dr Chris Smith, right. Photo: GNAAS

A man who cheated death when he crashed into a Lake District fell while paragliding returned to Cumbria to meet his rescuers.

Dave Tighe is now more than 3cm shorter after breaking his back in the accident on Tarn Crag in Great Langdale in May last year.

He fell 80ft (25m) when his wing collapsed and he hit the fellside, suffering multiple life-threatening injuries. He was treated at the scene by rescuers and the now disbanded RAF search-and-rescue helicopter crew airlifted the injured man from the crag into Great Langdale, from where he was flown to hospital in Preston by the Great North Air Ambulance.

Mr Tighe, who lives in Hutton, Lancashire, has little recollection of the incident but recently made a visit to the Great North Air Ambulance Service’s Langwathby airbase to meet those who flew him to hospital and to try and piece together what happened.

Mr Tighe's fiancée Karin Delday joined him at the Langwathby base. Photo: GNAAS

Mr Tighe's fiancée Karin Delday joined him at the Langwathby base. Photo: GNAAS

The father-of-two and his fiancée Karin Delday also handed over more than £1,500 which they raised by tackling the Village Bakery Wrexham Half Marathon in north Wales earlier this month.

The couple also donated cash to Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, whose members were 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.”

Dave Tighe competes in the half-marathon

Dave Tighe competes in the half-marathon

The pair both finished the run in under two hours.

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.”

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.”

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