Prince William reportedly led a helicopter rescue of two stranded hikers in the Snowdonia region of North Wales earlier this week, helping the couple escape the treacherous terrain and bitterly freezing temperatures.
A fully trained pilot with the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force Search and Rescue team, the Duke of Cambridge was dispatched the Snowdonia mountains early Tuesday morning.
Two unidentified hikers, said to be in their 40s and 50s, were reported missing Monday. The pair had made a pact with a friend to phone and check in every day, and when they missed a call, the friend alerted the authorities. The hikers reportedly had no ice picks, and couldn’t get off the mountain before dark. Without a phone signal, they decided to camp out in the frigid cold.
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Ogwen Valley mountain rescuers and search dogs found the hikers and called Prince William, a search and rescue operations flight lieutenant based in nearby Anglesey, to fly them out.
"The helicopter came about 1 a.m. to search the mountain, which was quite difficult with patches of low cloud," Chris Lloyd, one of the rescue team members, told The Mirror
. "Flying in the mountains at night with banks of low cloud requires great skill."
Prince William, 30, has served as a search-and-rescue pilot since September 2010, according to royal officials.
In August, Prince William made headlines when he rescued an injured Cambodian hiker from the Anglesey coast.
The same month, he saved two teen girls who had been washed out to sea while body boarding. He reportedly arrived on the scene within 38 seconds, one of the "fastest and shortest operations" ever for the Royal Air Force.
The Duke of Cambridge and his wife Katherine are expecting their first child. The baby is reportedly due in July
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