Sunday, November 21, 2010

HRH Prince William of Wales - What a Week!

What a week it was for HRH Prince William.

Two days after announcing his engagement to long time girlfriend Miss Kate Middleton, the prince was involved in a military helicopter rescue that saved the life of a man stuck in the mountains, British defense officials confirmed Sunday. The Prince, who graduated from Sandhurst military academy in 2007, is currently a search and rescue helicopter pilot based at RAF Valley in North Wales.

"First Lieutenant Wales was called out, as part of a four-man RAF search and rescue crew, to assist a man suffering from chest pains on [Mount] Snowdon," a Ministry of Defense spokesman said, according to the AFP.

Greg Watkins, a father of two who was stuck on one of the tallest mountains in the U.K. after he had a heart attack, was just grateful to be rescued on Thursday. When he heard it was the heir to the throne that had bravely flew in the helicopter to his rescue, it took a little while to sink in.

Rescuers had tried to save Watkins on foot, but were unable to move him to safety. The helicopter first landed 700 feet below the sick man, and was told to hold because of the weather. After a few minutes of waiting, with only seconds to get the job done, Prince William safely guided the copter to the Watkins, and once he was on board, flew him safely to a local hospital according to the report.

"I didn't know Prince William was flying the helicopter until we landed at the hospital," he told the British newspaper the Mirror. "Even then, I felt too unwell for it to register much."
"He'd probably say he was just doing his job, but to me he and his crew are heroes. The weather was appalling up on that mountain. How he managed to get the helicopter so close defies belief," the grateful Watkins told the Mirror.

-- Thanks to the New York Daily News.

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