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Boost for marathon men

PUBLISHED: 14:19 10 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

FOUR determined professionals from Wattisham's Search and Rescue squadron are today one step nearer to their planned New York charity bid.

The team has spent the last two months preparing to run in the city's 2002 Marathon on behalf of childrens' charity, Dreams Come True.

FOUR determined professionals from Wattisham's Search and Rescue squadron are today one step nearer to their planned New York charity bid.

The team has spent the last two months preparing to run in the city's 2002 Marathon on behalf of childrens' charity, Dreams Come True.

To stake their place in the event the foursome must raise a substantial amount of cash for the worthy cause, and this week they successfully raised their running total by just over £3,000.

A one-off charity night – with musical accompaniment by Jock Davies and Ipswich band Souled as Seen – helped the challengers to amass the impressive amount.

Senior Aircraftsman Aron Anderson, 23, Flight Lieutenant David Kay, 33, Junior Technicians Andy Fraser, 29, and Ian Pateman, 26, have been busy training for the gruelling 26.4 mile event over recent weeks.

All four work out of Wattisham Airfield as part of the RAF's B Flight 22 squadron.

"We were thrilled with the result of the charity night," commented Flight Lieutenant David Kay.

"With the support of a lot of local businesses and individuals we were able to run a really impressive lucky dip and raffle which collectively pushed our funds far higher than we had dared hope for.

"It's a tall order to raise the £10,000 we need for the event, but this is certainly a huge stride in the right direction."

Wattisham's Search and Rescue unit was in action several times over the weekend, including one very dramatic rescue in the North Sea.

The crew were scrambled to a Dutch yacht where a man had suffered head injuries in an accident on board.

In the midst of high winds and very difficult flying conditions the Search and Rescue team managed to winch the casualty on board their helicopter and fly him to the James Paget Hospital at Great Yarmouth.

Wattisham's Marathon contenders are still some way short of their final target for the New York race - which takes place in November – and hope to raise further funds with a golf drive and other sponsorship.

If you would like to offer a further donation to their efforts, please call Ipswich 430980.

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