Is there nothing Prince William cannot do?
New figures published today by the RAF have shown that the search and rescue helicopter unit which he was a member of until the middle of last year was the busiest unit in the UK for the second year running. It was scrambled 323 times in 2013, helping 298 people in danger or distress.
RAF search and rescue force commander, group Capt. Sarah Mackmin, said she was, "incredibly proud". Group Capt. Mackmin, the first female to command the RAF search and rescue operation, said, "The harsh, protracted winter that lasted from January through to early April saw C Flight complete not only a higher than average number of rescues, but was also accomplished in some of the worst weather conditions Snowdonia has seen for many years."
On the UK's six search and rescue helicopter units and three RAF mountain rescue teams, she said: "I'm incredibly proud of all the men and women under my command who go out by day and night, in all weathers, united with one common aim - the preservation of life."
Ironically it has been announced that from 2015 the search and rescue operations will no longer be run by the RAF but will be operated by an American company, the Bristow group, which has won a 10 year contract to continue the operations, ending 70 years of search and rescue from the RAF and Royal Navy.
Prince William spoke movingly in a television documentary about his search and rescue work saying, "There is no greater feeling than when you've actually done some good or saved someone's life. I don't think there’s any great calling in life. To be able to see a son or daughter's face when you bring their mother or father back from the edge of death – it's quite powerful."