Inverurie-raised Hannah Miley will take on Survivex’s helicopter escape training programme in September for stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands.

The organisation is currently collecting donations to create a new bereavement suite in Aberdeen.

Miss Miley was inspired to take up the challenge by her dad Patrick, who was a helicopter pilot for 27 years.

She said: “I hugely admire all helicopter pilots – especially those who fly out to the oilrigs every day in all weather conditions.

“In their honour I would like to put myself through this training and to challenge myself to experience it first-hand.”

The HUET training will involve a series of helicopter ditching scenarios with the level of difficulty stepped up each round.

A wave machine, gale-force winds and total blackouts will all be simulated to make the experience as realistic as possible.

But while the 28-year-old has been active in the pool since she was a toddler, and has racked up a series of world championship and Commonwealth medals, Miss Miley admits that the task ahead will not be easy.

“Ironically I have a huge fear of small spaces and water,” she said.

“The sensation of feeling trapped and not being able to breathe will be a huge challenge for me to overcome.”

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Photo by roy.luck

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