Climbers tribute to coastguards

An Army officer paralysed from the chest down in a Gower climbing accident that killed his friend has raised money for coastguards who helped his rescue.
Jimmy Goddard, 28, of Bracknell in Berkshire, spent 10 months in hospital after the 60ft cliff fall at Rhossili.

Weeks after his release he completed the London triathlon raising more than £3,000 for the volunteer coastguards.

He returned to Gower with the parents of climbing partner Claire Stickler, who died, to present the money.

Mr Goddard suffered multiple injuries in the fall in August 2004 including a broken spine and severed spinal chord.

He spent several weeks in intensive care at Morriston Hospital in Swansea before undergoing operations at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville.

He was permanently paralysed from the chest down and still suffers poor health, being re-admitted to hospital for a few days after Sunday's presentation with an infection.

His younger brother Paul said: "Literally just a couple of weeks after he left hospital he took part in and completed the London triathlon.

"He completely amazed us. About 20 of us has been planning for months and months to it for Jimmy's trust fund but he just said he was going to try as well.

"He did the whole thing, including the swim, we could not believe it.

"It was something he wanted to do for the coastguards at Rhossili.

"There were a lot of people involved in the rescue but he focused on the coastguards because they were all volunteers and had said how few people go back even to say thank-you."

Mr Goddard is waiting to be medically discharged from the Army and has just completed his first term as a sports science student at Loughborough University.

In June he will attempt to climb mount Kilimanjaro in Africa along with a fellow paraplegic from the US which, if successful, will be the first such Anglo-American expedition to achieve the feat.

His father Mike, an experienced mountaineer who will be leading the team of 10, said a special all-terrain hand-cycle was being built for the attempt.

"Jimmy wants to show he can do something major for charity and something that people would find inspiring." he said.

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