Menu Donate Request our help

Helpline: 0800 169 2942

Saying thanks to the RAF

Dan Brittain is running the Cardiff Half Marathon this weekend for the RAF Benevolent Fund. He has a very special reason – to say 'thank you' to RAF Search and Rescue. Dan tells us more in this blog.

On 25 July 2011 I was swimming and bodyboarding in Beadnell Bay, Northumberland, on a family holiday. The sea changed and I suddenly found myself being dragged further out and unable to move towards the shore.

RAF Search and Rescue

The waves kept battering me and I was being sucked under and flung about. It was like being in a giant washing machine. My brother was incredibly brave and tried his all to reach me using a bodyboard, but was beaten back by the ferocity of the waves.

My family were unable to see me from the shore and I was resigned to the inevitable. 

That's when I saw the amazing and welcome sight of a big, yellow Sea King coming in my direction. 'A' Flight from 202 Squadron at RAF Boulmer came to me in my hour of need; within moments I was winched up by an amazing man and flown to Wansbeck Hospital where I was treated for a few days. 

I will never be able to sum up exactly how grateful, and much in complete awe I am to the crew that saved my life that day. It’s a difficult emotion to convey in words. 

It was suggested at the time that any support for the RAF Benevolent Fund would be well received. The RAF changed my life and I owe my life to them. 

So, to say 'thank you', I am running the Cardiff Half Marathon this Sunday, with my brother, to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund. It is a small gesture in contrast to what they have done for me.

I hope it can in some way benefit those that really make such a difference to the lives of others in such a selfless and brave way.

Dan Brittain


0800 169 2942

Sign up to receive the RAFBF e-newsletter