17 August 2012
Prince William captained one of the "fastest and shortest" rescue operations conducted by the Royal Air Force during a mission to save a 16-year-old girl off the coast of Anglesey, according to reports.
It was said to have taken just 38 seconds for the RAF Sea King helicopter piloted by Flight Lieutenant Wales to arrive at Silver Bay in Anglesey from nearby RAF Valley after the coastguard called for assistance on 16 August.
The speedy arrival was aided by the fact that the crew had just returned from another call when the alarm was raised.
A holidaymaker had become trapped on rocks after attempting to save her younger sister, who had been carried out to sea by a riptide while bodyboarding.
The girl got into difficulty while swimming out to reach her 13-year-old sister and was said to be close to exhaustion when she was finally rescued. Her younger sister was safely returned to shore by a nearby surfer.
Seas were said to have been 'choppy' during the rescue, but the 16-year-old managed to cling to rocks while she awaited the Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter crew, which had been called by the coastguard.
The girl was said to have swallowed a lot of sea water and was cold and shocked and when Master Aircrew Harry Harrison winched her aboard. Both girls were flown to hospital in Bangor after the incident.
Earlier this week it was reported that Flt Lt Wales is considering his options for the future as the increasing pressures of royal duties mean he may become a flight instructor, rather than SAR pilot, later in 2013.