A MAN who was severely injured while walking in Snowdonia paid an emotional visit to the rescue team who saved his life.
Peter Mincher, who is in his sixties, visited RAF Valley to thank the 22 Squadron search and rescue helicopter crew for fell while walking his dog Sooty in the Atlantic Slabs.
Flight Lieutenant Rob Jones said: “It’s amazing that he survived considering all the injuries that he had suffered - he’s one fit guy for his age.”
Peter, of Wolverhampton, took a tour around the Sea King and the SAR Flight at RAF Valley, accompanied by Sooty.
An RAF Valley spokesman said the visit was “highly emotional.”
He added: “At his request the crew told him of their role during that fateful day in late May.
“Peter had little memory of events due to the severity of his injuries, but he impressed the RAF crew with his resilience and recuperative abilities.”
Very poor weather conditions hampered the rescue effort, with a low cloud base severely reducing visibility.
On reaching the cloud-base, the pilots painstakingly negotiated ever-thickening cloud to reach Peter and Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team members.
Winchman Sergeant Pete Wood left the helicopter and climbed up the mountain, relaying instructions by radio to Flight Lieutenant Rob Jones at the controls.
Using common visual references, the helicopter crept up the slope, avoiding outcrops of rock as they loomed into view, and keeping the is rotors clear of the hillside.
The crew flew Peter to Ysbyty Gwynedd, where he was stabilised.
He was later transferred by another RAF Valley Sea King to a hospital in Stoke for specialist care.
During the rescue, Sooty bolted out of sight, and spent 10 days in the area, surviving on pools of rainwater.
Pauline Hallett and a colleague, both members of Ogwen Valley MRT, went climbing in the area to look for him.
Luckily, they heard a dog barking, and succeeded in securing him.
Amazingly, Sooty was hungry, but none the worse despite his ordeal.
The spokesman added: “Peter and Sooty were swiftly reunited and are now enjoying somewhat less adventurous walks together!”