Britain's Prince William rescues stricken man at sea
Britain's Prince William carried out his first rescue mission in his new job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, lifting an ill man from an off-shore gas rig, a royal spokesman said Tuesday.
The 28-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, was scrambled into action on Saturday, co-piloting a Royal Air Force (RAF) Sea King helicopter to a gas platform in the Irish Sea.
It was his first rescue job since graduating two weeks ago.
"Prince William is pleased finally to be able to contribute to the life-saving work of the Search and Rescue Force," a spokesman for the prince told AFP.
"He is proud, after two years of intense training, to be able to serve in one of Britain's foremost emergency services."
William's Sea King took off from the RAF Valley base on Anglesey, northwest Wales, seven minutes after receiving an emergency call. The ill man had suffered a suspected heart attack.
Flight Lieutenant Wales, as the prince is known in the RAF, is expected to spend up to three years -- the normal tour of duty -- as a frontline search and rescue pilot. How soon he takes full command of the helicopter depends on his progress.
RAF Valley is one of six search and rescue bases in Britain. William's crew could be called in to rescue people from the sea, on mountains, from flooded regions or other areas on land.
© 2010 AFP