ADVENTURER Stuart Foulstone is preparing to go on an Arctic dog sled challenge to raise money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance – five months after he almost died doing a white water rafting challenge.

Civil engineer Mr Foulstone, 46, has suffered no ill effects when he almost drowned after he was sucked into a whirlpool on the Zambezi River in Africa last September, which he was doing to raise money for the county’s air ambulance.

Mr Foulstone, a married father of three from Roundway Village, said: “I’ve looked at the white water rafting challenge very pragmatically and what happened to me was just bad luck, but I was incredibly fortunate because the guides recovered me from the water and revived me.”

His new challenge will be driving six huskies through the Arctic in temperatures as low as -40 degrees celsius.

He will be among a group doing the challenge next month and it will involve sledding eight to ten hours a day to complete 250 kms in five days. He has not been to the Arctic nor done dog sledding before but has been working out at St Mary’s School gym in Calne, three to four times a week to prepare.

He is paying for the cost of the trip, about £1,800, and everything he raises will go to Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

The air ambulance charity will have to increase its fundraising significantly, from £700,000 a year to £2.5 million, when its partnership with the police for the joint helicopter ends in December and it has its own helicopter.

Mr Foulstone, a former RAF logistics officer, said: “It’s quite exciting times for the air ambulance with them getting their new helicopter later this year and that is more of a reason for the people of Wiltshire not to be complacent.”

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