| William: Mission rescue
London, Dec. 13: Abseiling down a 200-ft rock face with a stretcher is tricky enough for any novice mountain rescuer. Doing it with 70 telephoto lenses trained on you adds a little pressure but Prince William carried it off yesterday on the latest of his work experience placements.
“You’re just waiting for me to fall over,” he joked as he reached the bottom of South Stack, on Holyhead mountain, Anglesey.
The 23-year-old prince was on exercise with the RAF’s Mountain Rescue Team on Anglesey, north Wales.
He had only practised on a climbing wall before tackling South Stack. William undertook a “stretcher lever”, acting as “barrow boy”, one of two whose job is to stabilise the stretcher, which was loaded with ballast.
Watching the press corps clambering clumsily through the rock-strewn heather, the prince warned light-heartedly: “Please walk carefully down. I don’t want to do it for real!”
Asked if he was enjoying himself, William exclaimed: “It’s brilliant.”
During his two-week stint with RAF Valley, William has learned helicopter rescue techniques, mountaineering and sea drills.
“A bit quicker!” yelled the instructor as the prince and a colleague edged gingerly down, wearing helmets, harnesses and supported by ropes.
Having completed that manoeuvre successfully, the prince then scrambled across the boulder-strewn bog at the bottom of the rock face to take part in the next exercise, a “guiding line traverse” employed to bring a person down on a tension line.
Watching the press corps clambering clumsily through the rock-strewn heather, the prince warned light-heartedly: "Please walk carefully down. I don't want to do it for real!"
Asked if he was enjoying himself, he exclaimed: "It's brilliant."