A North Derbyshire diver’s dramatic sea rescue has inspired his daughter to run the London Marathon.
Paul Bettison, aged 52, from Eckington, was forced 1.5 miles away from his dive boat during an outing with a club.
Bright sunlight meant the crew on the boat were unable to see Paul or his dive buddy – and the waves drowned out the noise of their whistles and calls for help.
After the pair had been missing for a nailbiting 45 minutes, the team on the dive boat alerted the coastguard.
A helicopter was sent out and they were spotted drifting towards a breakwater. A RNLI lifeboat crew was then sent to pick them up and take them to shore.
Laura, Paul’s daughter, said her dad’s experience had prompted her to run 26.2 miles to raise £2,500 for the worthy cause.
The 20-year-old said: “If I’d been there I would have panicked, but because my dad is an experienced diver I knew he would be OK.
“They had tied themselves together like they were supposed to, but I still had that panic, knowing what could have happened.”
Laura, who studies marine biology at Plymouth University, said the incident, which occurred in Plymouth in May 2012, had made her much more aware of the work of the RNLI.
She said: “I think since then it’s hit home a lot more what the RNLI actually does.
“You hear things on the radio but you don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you or someone you know.”
When not at university, Laura lives with her dad and her sister Georgina, 17, in Eckington.
After she completes her studies, the third year student hopes to teach English in Japan for a year.
The London Marathon takes place on April 13.
n To sponsor Laura, visit Laura Bettison