Nightly News | November 27, 2011
LESTER HOLT, anchor: Also taking to the skies today, Lieutenant William Wales , better known to you and me as Prince William . He's not just second in line to the British throne , he's also an officer with the British Royal Air Force , and today he was a man on a mission , a life saving mission. We get the story tonight from NBC 's Annabel Roberts .
ANNABEL ROBERTS reporting: Early this morning in the cold waters of the Irish Sea , a man waved frantically from a life raft. An RFC seeking helicopter had been sent to rescue him. The co-pilot, the future king of England himself, Prince William . The eight-man crew of the cargo ship Swanland had been sailing along the west coast of Britain in atrocious weather.
Mr. RAY CARSON (Her Majesty's Coast Guard): She was hit by what he described as an enormous wave. She rolled, broke her back and obviously was such a
catastrophic......it sank very quickly.
ROBERTS: First one survivor and then a second were plucked from the life raft. One member of the crew was found dead, five are still missing. On board the helicopter, the survivors found themselves beside the heir to the British throne , Prince William , who flew them to safety. In April , the queen visited the base in Wales where William is spending three years as a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot. His brother, Prince Harry , has also faced danger. While serving in Afghanistan , he carried out patrols in hostile areas and says he's keen to return.
Mr. ROBERT JOBSON (NBC Royal Contributor): Prince William has always said that when he became a servicemen, he wanted to have a proper job. There's no way he could be posted like his brother Prince Harry to the front line in Afghanistan because of his role as the future king, but he is a serviceman. He's not going to shirk his responsibilities.
ROBERTS: William and his new bride Kate Middleton live a relatively normal life in rural north Wales , not from far from William 's base. But early next year the newlyweds will be separated when William is deployed to the remote Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic , Kate 's first taste of the typical life of a military wife. This rescue was the prince's most harrowing mission to date, but no doubt there will be more like this as the future king spreads his wings. Annabel Roberts, NBC News, London.