Wales

Prince William among team in judge's Snowdonia rescue

  • 9 May 2011
  • From the section Wales
Prince William inside a search and rescue helicopter
Prince William inside a search and rescue helicopter at his Anglesey base

A judge who suffered a heart attack while walking in Snowdonia has thanked his rescuers, including RAF pilot Prince William.

Retired Hong Kong High Court judge Nick Barnett, 70, of Midhurst, West Sussex, is recovering in hospital after the rescue from y Lliwedd mountain.

He said he was grateful to everyone who helped him.

The prince, who has delayed his honeymoon, flew him to hospital.

Mr Barnett received treatment at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, crucially within an hour of suffering the attack last Wednesday.

He also thanked a member of the Llanberis mountain rescue team who came to his aid with the RAF rescuers.

"The winchman did a wonderful job and the whole helicopter crew. You see all the TV documentaries about the air-sea rescue teams and it all looks hair-raising. Until it happens to you, you don't appreciate the skill and bravery they show," the judge said.

The judge, an experienced hill walker who has trekked in the Himalayas, became ill while walking with his son Giles.

"As I was being stretchered away from the aircraft I saw one of the pilots on the right-hand side looking at me and I gave him the OK sign with my hand," said Mr Barnett, who still sits in the Supreme Court of Brunei.

"He acknowledged me. Whether it was the prince I don't know. I didn't know he was aboard the aircraft until a nurse whispered to me in the emergency department that Prince William was on the helicopter.

"I didn't set out to be rescued by Prince William. I'd planned a nice day on the hills and to have a nice pint of beer in Betws y Coed where we were staying.

"Family and friends are all stunned by who saved me."

Police officers

The prince also took part in the rescue of a 46-year-old man stranded on Tryfan mountain on Friday.

The man had tumbled a short distance near the summit and it is believed he had dislocated his shoulder.

In another rescue on Wednesday, Prince William and his colleagues airlifted four men off Snowdon after one suffered vertigo.

The men, thought to be police officers from the West Midlands and in their 20s, were walking at 3,028ft (923m) on Crib Goch.

They were airlifted down from the narrow ridge in an area known as Crib-y-Ddysgyl - the scene of previous tragedies.

The prince and his new wife returned to Anglesey after a weekend away in the UK following their wedding on 29 April.

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