South East Wales

Niall McCann joins mountain rescue team who saved him

Niall McCann climbing a mountain Image copyright Niall McCann
Image caption Mr McCann climbing before his accident

An extreme sportsman who was rescued after a mountain crash has joined the volunteer team who saved his life.

Niall McCann, 35, of Cardiff, crashed on to Pen-Y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons in a speed flying accident last year.

He was rescued by Brecon Mountain Rescue Team and the coastguard and spent 38 days in hospital with a shattered spine.

Doctors feared he might not walk again but he has now rejoined the team he started training with before the crash.

Image copyright Niall McCann
Image caption Graham Hatch of HM Coastguard, Rory McCann, Finn McCann, Niall McCann and Mark Jones of the Brecon mountain rescue team at the accident site

A year on from the accident, the explorer and adventurer who has worked all over the world studying endangered animals, still has some paralysis in the back of his legs.

But he follows a rigorous physiotherapy regime, is back to hiking and cycling and is now fit enough to rejoin the team.

"I feel privileged to work side-by-side with the volunteers who saved my life; it is such an important charity," he said.

"I've had a fair amount of medical training. I was the de facto medic on expeditions to many hard-to-reach places all over the world.

"You have to be calm under pressure when there's no back-up coming. Now that I've experienced the other side of a rescue I feel like I'm better able to help others."

Brecon Mountain Rescue Team is an emergency service staffed by volunteers and funded by donations.

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