Prince William, Real-Life Knight in Shining Armor, Rescues Girl From Drowning

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), and his father Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R), head back to the RAF Rescue base after Prince William showed his father round his RAF Sea King Rescue helicopter during a visit to RAF Valley on July 9, 2012, in north-west England.

He’s already a real-life prince, but Britain’s Prince William is now also a knight in shining armor after saving a 16-year-old schoolgirl from drowning.

While on duty as a search and rescue pilot on the Royal Air Force, he was alerted by radio last Thursday to a sighting of the girl being dragged under by a rip current off the coast of Wales.

William had already landed his Sea King helicopter when the call came, yet he and his crew managed to reach the scene in an impressively speedy 38 seconds, just as the girl began to slip underwater. The team’s paramedic, Master Aircrew Harry Harrison, was then lowered down to assist the girl. Harrison was quoted as saying:

“We never know what we’ll face when we’re called out. Sometimes it’s just a twisted ankle or a broken bone, but this was one rescue where we truly did arrive in the nick of time and managed to save this young girl’s life.”

The girl, who will no doubt have quite a story to tell her friends once summer vacation ends, had been bodyboarding with her 13-year-old sister when they were both caught in a strong current. The younger girl was fortunately rescued by a surfer — although it was maybe not quite as exciting as being rescued by the second in line to the British throne.

Since qualifying as a RAF Search and Rescue pilot in 2010 and then as a Captain in June, William has been balancing his air force career — settling down in Anglesey, Wales, where his squadron is based, with his wife Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge — with his royal duties. Most recently, he was forced to miss the Olympics Closing Ceremony because it clashed with his search and rescue duty. His younger brother Harry instead represented the Royal Family at the at the Ceremony instead.

William’s heroic tale has been followed by another piece of good news for the British Royal Family. His grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, has today been discharged from hospital, where he spent five nights for a recurring bladder infection.