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    Prince takes part in rescue flight


    by ODN


    Prince William has taken part in his first rescue flight for the Search and Rescue (SAR) Force.

    The Prince was co-pilot on board an RAF Sea King helicopter which was called to an off-shore gas rig in Morecambe Bay where a man was seriously ill.

    A spokesman for Prince William said: "Prince William is pleased finally to be able to contribute to the life-saving work of the Search and Rescue Force. He is proud, after two years of intense training, to be able to serve in one of Britain's foremost emergency services."

    The incident took place on Saturday, just over two weeks after the Prince joined the unit.

    The Sea King, callsign "Rescue 122", was scrambled at 2.11pm after a call from Liverpool Coastguard. The four-man crew, from C Flight, 22 Squadron, took off seven minutes later from their base at RAF Valley on Anglesey, North Wales.

    The Sea King's crew described the weather conditions as "squally winds, which produced some moderate turbulence around the rig's helicopter landing platform".

    Flight Lieutenant Wales is expected to spend three years as a frontline search and rescue pilot for the RAF.

    The Prince can expect to be promoted to captain and overall control of the helicopter in the coming years, but how quickly will depend on his ability and performance. William could also find himself flying rescue missions to Northern Ireland as RAF Valley routinely responds to calls there.