Duke Of Cambridge Qualifies As RAF Search And Rescue Captain

Almost two years after joining the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force, the Duke of Cambridge has qualified to be an operational captain, meaning he can lead missions in RAF Sea King helicopters by himself.

William, 29, who helped save the lives of Russian seamen whose cargo vessel sank in the Irish Sea last November, previously only co-piloted the aircraft. The advancement – which is not technically a promotion, as William remains a flight lieutenant – comes after two years of flying experience and study with C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales.

William also successfully completed several ground- and air-based practical tests over a two-day period. They included an airborne search for a yacht, a search for people in water, extinguishing a simulated fire on a large survey vessel, and a search for two missing kayakers.

Flight Lieutenant Wales, as he is known in the military, “demonstrated the required standards needed for the award of operation captaincy,” Mark Dunlop, one of William’s commanding officers, said.

We are definitely happy for the Duke’s new achievement in the RAF, and we’re sure the Duchess of Cambridge is very proud of him, too! But in the middle of his ever-busy RAF schedule, everybody wants to know: When do you think should Prince William focus more on his plan to have an heir of his own?

Source: People

Image: Raw Story

Prince William Rescues Shipwrecked Russian Sailors

The Duke of Cambridge helped lead search and rescue efforts for eight sailors swept into the sea after their ship sank amid gale-force winds off the coast of north Wales. He co-piloted an RAF helicopter which winched two men to safety amid the debris of their cargo ship, the Swanland, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Rescuers later recovered the body of a third man from the Irish Sea off the Llyn Peninsula as fears grew for the remaining five crewmembers.

The tragedy comes just over a year after the same ship – owned by company in Grimsby but flagged to the Cook Islands and crewed by Russians – had to be rescued after coming perilously close to running aground in Cornwall. Coastguards used legal powers to order it to accept a tow to safety after drifting almost three miles towards the Lizard peninsula after suffering engine failure.

By the time lifeboats and rescue helicopters reached the scene, all that was left of the ship, which was carrying 3,000 tons of limestone, was a scattering of debris and two liferafts with two sailors clinging to them.

Rescuers were initially unable to reach the raft because of treacherous conditions, but reported that it appeared to be empty. Two attempts to make certain that nobody was inside failed after treacherous conditions defeated attempts to winch a rescuer close enough or access it by lifeboat.

Last night the Rail Maritime and Transport union called for a “full and transparent” investigaton into the sinking.


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