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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 13:14 GMT
'Novice' prince abseils to rescue
Prince William has been on two weeks' work experience with the RAF on Anglesey

Prince William carried out a mock mountain rescue on Anglesey in north Wales as he abseiled down a rock face, guiding a stretcher to safety.

He has been spending two weeks on work experience as a "rescue novice" with the RAF Valley mountain rescue team.

The prince, 23, safely made a controlled descent down a 200ft drop in an event staged for the media.

On reaching the bottom, he told photographers: "You're just waiting for me to fall over, aren't you?"

The prince is on the last stage of his work experience, which has also seen him in the City of London and learning land estate management before he joins the Army in January.

He was one of several novices using the 220-metre high Holyhead Mountain to practise emergency life-saving skills.

Prince William on the rock summit
My experience with the mountain rescue team have left me in awe of their dedication and sheer professionalism
Prince William

He acted as one of two "barrow" boys, who abseiled down, steadying a stretcher filled with a ballast acting as a pretend casualty.

The prince, who graduated from St Andrew's University last summer, was one of the first to begin the movement down and was wearing a hard hat as well as a harness around his waist.

Instructors at the top shouted directions including "a bit quicker" as the exercise was under way.

The work experience on Anglesey was designed to get William fit and ready for Sandhurst, where he will join younger brother Harry as an officer cadet . It also allowed him to practise skills such as navigation ready for his military career.

Aides said the placement had also allowed him to spend some time in Wales.

The RAF rescue team insisted that William would join them on any call-outs - known as "shouts" - during the work experience, but there were none last week.


Squadron Leader Al Copeland said: "This week William is an RAF rescue novice. When we get a shout, we take a novice with us. He would be doing the same as any other novice."

William was not speaking directly to reporters on Monday but a statement issued by Clarence House expressed his admiration for the rescue crews and how much he was enjoying his time at RAF Valley.

He added: "My familiarisation with their pilot training activities, the unsung heroes of the search and rescue helicopter crews and my experience with the mountain rescue team have left me in awe of their dedication and sheer professionalism."

His time at RAF Valley has included flight experience in jets, briefings on combat manoeuvres, helicopter rescue techniques, mountaineering and sea drills.

He has also operated a Hawk weapons and tactics simulator and has done circuit practice in a jet trainer aircraft.

  • Last week the Ministry of Defence defended the decision to fly the prince from Anglesey to a base near his father's Highgrove home ahead of an induction at Sandhurst

    See Prince William carry out the mock rescue


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