Filming the rescuers

Sea King helicopter Helicopter Rescue follows RAF Search and Rescue over Snowdonia and across Wales

Prince William's job with the RAF Search and Rescue has drawn much media attention, but a new BBC documentary shines the spotlight on his colleagues.

Helicopter Rescue, which starts on BBC One Wales this Wednesday, follows the two RAF crews that cover the nation.

The teams at RAF Valley in Anglesey - where the future heir is based - and the Royal Marine Barracks in Devon, whose patch covers south Wales, are the busiest of the RAF's six search and rescue flights.

Aled Rhys Jones, who was the programme's self-shooting director, spent 15 shifts, each lasting 72 hours, with the RAF Valley crew, going out on more than 25 jobs between last September and January.

RAF Search and Rescue crew The documentary follows Prince William's colleagues at RAF Valley in Anglesey

Admitting that his first helicopter flights were like a 'childhood action-man dream', Jones said the challenge was 'keeping out of the crews' way while also trying to do my job'.

Most of the search and rescues took place on, unsurprisingly, Mount Snowdon, with one job involving a scramble to the coast. Footage also shows road crash victims being winched to safety.

'It's not just rescue, rescue, rescue,' says Jones. 'We show the victims in hospital at Ysbyty Gwynedd [near Anglesey].'

One of the toughest jobs was filming the rescue and treatment of a teenage girl involved in a car accident, who has just recently come out of a coma.

Spectacular backdrop

Filming access was arranged after negotiations with the Ministry of Defence, and Jones' time with the RAF crews was arranged so they wouldn't coincide with Prince William's shifts, although the two sometimes crossed paths and chatted to each other.

But Jones' highlights include flying over the spectacular scenery in Snowdonia and he hopes the documentary, which was also filmed by cameraman Richard Longstaff, will be broadcast in the rest of the UK.

'It has a Welsh spine but there were Irish, Scottish and English crew members and I think there's a lot of interest in the work of RAF Search and Rescue.'

Helicopter Rescue, Wednesday 15, 22 and 19 February, BBC One Wales, 7.30pm


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