Search and rescue pilot Prince William helps to rescue hill walker


Blackleaf
#1
Search and rescue pilot Prince William helped to rescue a hill walker just 48 hours after announcing his engagement to Catherine Middleton.

The future King - known in the RAF as Flight Lieutenant Wales - was part of a four man crew who helped to rescue Greg Watkins who was stuck 3,000ft up Mount Snowdon - one of Britain's tallest mountains - in treacherous conditions.

His yellow Sea King helicopter was called out at 1.30pm on Thursday from its base at RAF Valley on the Isle of Anglesey after Mr Watkins collapsed with chest pains.

He was winched on board the helicopter before being taken to hospital in Bangor to be treated for a suspected heart attack.

Mr Watkins told the Sunday Mirror: 'If it wasn't for him and the rest of his crew, I'd be dead.'

After their marriage next year, which will be beamed to hundreds of millions worldwide on TV, Prince William and Catherine, who will then be Princess Catherine, will continue to reside together in a rented cottage in North Wales not far from RAF Valley at least until his operational tour ends in 2013.

Prince William saved my life hours after announcing his wedding, says hill walker who collapsed on Mount Snowdon

By Daily Mail Reporter
21st November 2010
Daily Mail

Prince William was involved in a helicopter rescue mission on Mount Snowdon just 48 hours after announcing his engagement to Kate Middleton, it was revealed today.

The search and rescue pilot was part of a four-man crew on board an RAF Sea King which was scrambled to help walker Greg Watkins who was stuck 3,000ft (914m) up the mountain in stormy conditions.

The 28-year-old Prince, who is based at RAF Valley in North Wales, was called into action at 1.30pm on Thursday after the father-of-two collapsed with chest pains.



Prince William flying the Griffin helicopter with 60 Squadron Defence helicopter flying school at RAF Shawbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

He was winched on board the helicopter before being taken to hospital in Bangor to be treated for a suspected heart attack.

Mr Watkins, who was today recovering after an operation, said the actions of Flight Lieutenant Wales and his crew had saved his life.

He told the Sunday Mirror: 'If it wasn't for him and the rest of his crew, I'd be dead.

'Hearing his helicopter getting nearer and nearer was the best sound I've ever heard. He and his crew saved my life.'

For the last six months, William and his fiancee have lived together in a rented cottage on Anglesey, close to the RAF base, among a close-knit community of service personnel and islanders.

The rescue mission was launched just five hours after the Prince returned to the base following his engagement.

Mr Watkins, a gym worker, of Ebbw Vale, South Wales, had been walking in the hills with six friends.


Mount Snowdon, in Snowdonia National Park, where Prince William and his crew had to manoeuvre the helicopter to rescue stranded walker Greg Watkins

'I didn't know much about what was happening at the time,' he said.

'I didn't know Prince William was flying the helicopter until we landed at the hospital. Even then, I felt too unwell for it to register much.

'The winchman helped me out and on to a stretcher and whispered 'Prince William's just flown you here'. I looked up at him and just said 'Oh. Tell him thank you'.

'It didn't really sink in until I woke up after my operation. Now I think it's amazing. Being winched off a mountain by an RAF helicopter was the last thing I thought was going to happen to me. But for it to be flown by Prince William is unbelievable.'

He added: 'I'd only been watching him announce the engagement on TV with Kate a few hours earlier - it was his first mission since going back to work.

'I feel lucky to be alive but even luckier to have been rescued by the future King of England. I want to tell him how grateful I am to him and the rest of his crew.

'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 fog was so thick at times, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. The rain was lashing down and it was howling a gale.'

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: 'Flight 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 Snowdon.

'The man was subsequently flown to a local hospital for treatment.'

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 21st, 2010 at 12:24 PM..
 
taxslave
#2
Neither of which is particularly news worthy.
 
shadowshiv
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Neither of which is particularly news worthy.

It was news in Britain, and Blackleaf is British. It's all good.
 
Spade
#4
Thank Gawd the news was not in Outer Mongolia and Blackleaf Mongolian. Then, again...
 

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