A MAN left devastated by his father's death in a helicopter crash is raising money for the crews that found his body.
Andy Potton, from Chester, has organised the West Highland Way walk in memory of his dad, Steve, who was the pilot of the helicopter and one of seven men who died in the crash in Morecambe Bay on December 27, 2006. The helicopter had been transporting workers to gas platforms in the Irish Sea. Six walkers, including three from Cheshire, will set off on a 95 mile trek this weekend to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Since the tragedy Andy has raised more than £10,000 for the RNLI.
Andy said: “As a son who had just lost his father I could not adequately explain the comfort the RNLI brought to me by returning my Dad’s body to us.
“It is difficult in the current economic climate to ask people to support us on the walk but those who do are really helping the RNLI to save the lives of others at sea.”
Among those joining Andy on the walk will be Steve Sandman and Joan Roquet-Jalmar, both from Chester, while Andy’s girlfriend Lauren Hoines has volunteered as chef.
The challenge, which will take six days, comes two years after Andy and the majority of the current walkers completed the 190-mile Coast to Coast walk, also in aid of the RNLI.
Andy, who works for the Army Welfare Service at Dale Barracks, said: ‘The Coast to Coast walk was demanding but a great achievement for us all. The West Highland Way is shorter but will be no less challenging.’
The West Highland Way will take the team from Milngavie in Scotland to Fort William, passing by Loch Lomond and across the foothills of Ben Nevis. To sponsor Andy, visit www.justgiving .com/spotton.