A cyclist is riding the length of Ireland to raise money for the team which rescued him from treacherous conditions on a hike.
Hassan Pillai, 69, from Macclesfield, is cycling 600 miles from Mizen Head in the south to Malin Head in the north of Ireland to raise £2,500 for the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team. Hassan called the team in 2014 while walking on Kinder Scout and has set himself the challenge to repay the group for its services.
The Mizen to Malin route is the Irish equivalent of Britain’s Land’s End to John O’Groats, but following the west coast of Ireland.
It includes some of the most rugged and wildest coastline in the UK.
Hassan, who is retired from Barclays Bank and married to Anne, said: “I wanted to do something for the team because they helped me and my friend when we got into trouble on a walk. It was one of those situations where you get caught out by the changing weather.
“It was getting dark and the track wasn’t clear in front.
“The team was fabulous. This is my way of saying thanks.
“I’m looking forward to it. The route through Ireland is beautiful.”
Hassan’s rescue was on March 6, 2014. The team was called at 4pm to reports that Hassan and his friend were lost in the mist on Kinder Scout.
They had walked in reasonable conditions from Upper Booth to Kinder Downfall – but later in the day the weather deteriorated with cloud dropping to around 350 metres and reducing visibility.
On their return route they became disorientated and lost their way. They were worried daylight was fading so called for help.
A search party was dispatched and mountain rescue teams from Edale and Kinder were also sent, as well as two search-and-rescue dogs.
Hassan and his friend were found between Kinder Low and Edale Rocks and escorted off the moor by the team.
The money Hassan raises will go towards the £15,000 needed to buy a digital radio system for the rescue team.
Roger Bennett, from Buxton Mountain Rescue, said: “This is an expensive project forced upon the charity by a national change of frequency.
“Forty-eight new radio sets are needed and we will be grateful for every penny Hassan raises.”
Hassan’s challenge is on September 16. Visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/hassan-mizmal to donate.