Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Prince carries out first rescue

Prince William has taken part in his first mission as a search and rescue helicopter co-pilot
Prince William has taken part in his first mission as a search and rescue helicopter co-pilot

Prince William has taken part in his first mission as a search and rescue helicopter co-pilot, flying to the aid of an off-shore gas rig contractor, it has emerged.

The Prince was part of a four-man helicopter crew which was scrambled to rescue the worker from an accommodation rig next to a gas production platform in Morecambe Bay, the Royal Air Force said.

The helicopter crew was alerted at 2.11pm on Saturday after a call from Liverpool Coastguard who reported a worker was seriously ill after suffering a suspected heart attack.

The Sea King helicopter, from C Flight, 22 Squadron, the Search and Rescue (SAR) Force, was in the air seven minutes later, taking off from the base at RAF Valley on Anglesey, North Wales.

The crew of "Rescue 122" arrived at the rig 24 minutes later where the RAF Winchman quickly assessed the contractor's condition.

The crewmen described the weather conditions as "squally winds, which produced some moderate turbulence around the rig's helicopter landing platform".

By 2.50pm the aircraft was in the air again, landing on-shore where the patient was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

A spokesman for Prince William said: "Prince William is pleased finally to be able to contribute to the life-saving work of the Search and Rescue Force.

"He is proud, after two years of intense training, to be able to serve in one of Britain's foremost emergency services."

The Prince joined his unit on September 17 after graduating from his training course and praising the "vital" work of the service.

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