Devizes daredevil aids air ambulance

Stuart Foulstone and his son William with air ambulance paramedic Joanne Munday and PC Nigel Gilbert

Stuart Foulstone and his son William with air ambulance paramedic Joanne Munday and PC Nigel Gilbert

First published in News

Adventurous Devizes man Stuart Foulstone, who escaped with his life after white water rafting in Africa, had another lucky escape when he plunged into a frozen lake while undertaking a dog sled challenge in the Arctic.

In the latest incident the Wilt-shire Air Ambulance fundraiser was only waist deep in the water and the six Husky dogs he was in charge of pulled the sled out with him hanging on to it.

Married father of three Mr Foulstone, 46, was among a group of people doing the 230km challenge in April.

He said: “We were crossing a frozen lake with good packed snow on one side and rotten snow on the other and the sled tipped over. I was up to my waist in slush but the dogs kept going and I hung on to the sled and bounced across the ice until I was able to pull myself up. I had a few bruises, but I loved the whole experience.”

Mr Foulstone, a civil engineer of Roundway Village, trained for the challenge by working out at St Mary’s School gym in Calne.

The only other difficulties he encountered was having to untie his Huskies when they strayed off course and wrapped their leashes around trees plus the below zero temperatures.

Mr Foulstone almost died when he did a white water rafting challenge on the Zambezi River in Africa last year. His raft capsized at a notorious rapid and he was sucked into a whirlpool. He was under the water for three minutes and 35 seconds before resurfacing.

He said: “I look at it that it wasn’t my time.”

He did both challenges in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance charity. He raised a total of £3,733.46 and presented the money to the charity last Friday.

He said: “I see the air ambulance fly over my house a lot. I’ve never needed it and hopefully neither I nor anyone close to me will, but it is vital to have it. The helicopter can be at an emergency within 11 minutes, day or night and has very skilled crew on board.”

Jemma Brown, volunteer and community services manager at Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charit-able Trust, said: “Stuart has raised a fantastic amount of money and every bit helps to keep the air ambulance flying.”

Mr Foulstone’s next challeng for the air ambulance is in Snowdonia in September and will comprise a cycle ride, a trek up Snowdon and a canoe trip.

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