A NEAR-death experience in Mozambique changed the life of new Dundee West MP Chris Law forever and set him on the path to Westminster.

The 45-year-old almost drowned when a rip current dragged him out to sea but he had a lucky escape when the tide suddenly turned and now his motto is: “Do what makes your heart sing.”

Law spent 10 years running motorbike expeditions in the Himalayas on a 1950s 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet. After surviving his swimming incident 12 years ago, he decided that whatever life threw at him he would grab it with both hands. This came in the form of two pensioners, brothers Tony and Peter Evans, from Cheshire, who asked him to take them to the world’s highest mountain pass, the 18,379ft Khardung La in north-west India.

He said: “Despite all their physical difficulties and their age they reached the world’s highest road with me and it just shows you how important it is to do what you love now, because the following year Tony got diagnosed with stomach cancer and was told he had less than two weeks to live.

“You never know what is ahead of you. I used to take things as they came until I had that near-drowning accident. I had just finished working with Raleigh International in Namibia. I took a break from there and went to Mozambique when I got caught in a rip current while swimming.

“I had been swimming with other people but they were unable to help me because I got dragged out by the current. That was a profound experience. I had no sense of where I was. I ended up in hospital and after I got out I decided that whatever came up next in my life I would do it and do it with full commitment. My advice to anyone would be to do what makes your heart sing and being an MP makes mine sing, bizarrely.”

Law also trained as a French chef but it was during his time at St Andrews University, where he gained a degree in cultural and social anthropology, that he developed a love for India and set up his own tourism business called Freewheeling Tours. Over the years he has also been a mortgage adviser and run a film company.

However, all that has been put aside to concentrate on serving his constituents at Westminster after winning a 33 per cent swing with 27,684 votes, beating Labour’s Michael Marra, on May 7.

Law joined the SNP in 1999 but his membership lapsed when he went abroad and he rejoined in 2010 when he returned home. He threw himself into the independence campaign and got involved at branch-level in Radical Independence and Business for Scotland. He also set up national organisation The Spirit of Independence after he saw a gap in the campaign, from people saying they were not getting enough breadth of information, with which he toured the country in a 1950s Green Goddess distributing two tonnes of leaflets and raising £30,000 along the way.

He said: “I had been campaigning to leave Westminster for two years so the last thing on my agenda was to be considered as a candidate, but through the experience of the heartache of people when the referendum was lost, I started to consider how I could help.

“I felt I couldn’t go back to work the way I was feeling. My heart, drive and energy wasn’t in it so I followed my intuition.

“In Dundee we had such a great network of activists and I feel truly humbled by the strength of support I have been given.”