Prince William rescues Canadian woman
Darlene Burton’s trip to the rocky Welsh coast was right out of a fairytale — well, at least the part where she was rescued by a prince.
Prince William was the Canadian tourist’s knight in shining armour after she slipped and broke her leg while crossing the rocks at a popular coastal hiking destination on the island of Anglesey.
Darlene Burton, 58 (right), was hiking with her husband on an isolated trail near a lighthouse when she fell Monday morning. The Barrie resident couldn’t move, so her husband Lawrence Oakley found a local fisherman who called for help.
Because of the awkward location she was in, paramedics couldn’t get Burton out by land. She was stuck — until the prince flew to her rescue.
When an RAF Valley Sea King helicopter arrived to take Burton to hospital in Bangor, her husband Oakley said they noticed Prince William was the pilot.
“They all know up here that that’s his job,” Oakley said. “He assisted in helping Darlene when they moved the stretcher out (of the helicopter).”
Relatives in Ontario were relieved there was a silver lining to Burton’s injury.
“She was in extreme pain and had been sort of trapped and unable to move in the mud. Probably not the way she wanted to meet the Prince... but still,” Oakley’s sister Patti Oakley Jameson wrote on Facebook.
“… Having the prince rescue her had to ease the pain somewhat! :)”
A camera crew from the BBC show Helicopter Rescue filmed Burton’s rescue and gave Oakley, also a cameraman, a place to stay for the night, according to Oakley Jameson.
Burton underwent surgery — her leg was broken in a few places — and remained in hospital Tuesday. The couple is scheduled to fly home Sunday.
Prince William has been stationed at RAF Valley on Anglesey since 2009 and qualified as a search and rescue captain this past May.
It's been a busy several days for William, who last Thursday piloted a Sea King to the rescue a 16-year-old girl who was floundering in Silver Bay near the RAF base. She had trying to reach her 13-year-old sister, who was also having trouble after being caught in a current.
The older girl was lifted to safety by the prince's helicopter crew while her sister was helped to shore by a surfer.
The RAF refused to “officially confirm or deny” whether the Prince was part of the Monday's rescue operation, saying they don't “normally discuss any rescues.”
- Emily Jackson, with files from The Canadian Press