05/09/2011

It's William to the rescue on Wales mountaintops

William

Prince William at the controls of the Sea King helicopter used in search and rescue missions.

He’s not quite able to leap tall buildings with a single bound, but for at least a few people stranded on mountaintops in Wales, Prince William is a bit of a superhero.

A retired Hong Kong High Court judge is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack on Lliwedd mountain in Snowdonia last week, just days after the Prince reported back to work as a search and rescue helicopter pilot following his wedding.

The new Duke of Cambridge was part of the crew that came to the aid of the judge, an experienced hiker who became ill while walking with his son.

"As I was being stretchered away from the aircraft I saw one of the pilots on the right-hand side looking at me and I gave him the OK sign with my hand," Barnett, who still sits in the Supreme Court of Brunei, told the BBC.

"He acknowledged me. Whether it was the prince I don't know. I didn't know he was aboard the aircraft until a nurse whispered to me in the emergency department that Prince William was on the helicopter.

"I didn't set out to be rescued by Prince William. I'd planned a nice day on the hills and to have a nice pint of beer in Betws y Coed where we were staying.

"Family and friends are all stunned by who saved me."

The BBC reports that the prince has been involved in at least two other rescues since returning to his RAF Valley squadron in Anglesey last week. One rescue involved a 46-year-old man who dislocated a shoulder following a fall on Tryfan mountain. In another incident, four men were airlifted from a narrow ridge after one suffered vertigo.

“You see all the TV documentaries about the air-sea rescue teams and it all looks hair-raising,” said the judge. “Until it happens to you, you don't appreciate the skill and bravery they show."

The prince and his new bride, Kate, postponed their honeymoon and returned to their home in Anglesey after their April 29 marriage.

To see more of Prince William at work, click HERE.

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