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Duke of Cambridge took part in search for missing man

The Duke of Cambridge took part in the search mission. Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Archive

The Duke of Cambridge has taken part in a search mission to rescue a man swept into the sea in gale-force winds at Blackpool.

William, an RAF Search and Rescue helicopter pilot, was called out with crewmates from his base at RAF Valley on Anglesey to help locate the man.

The 41-year-old was reportedly walking his dog with another man when the pair ended up in the water just after midnight on New Year's Day.

The Duke used the lights from his Sea King helicopter to help RNLI and Coastguard crews from Blackpool and Lytham St Annes look for the dog walker in the water.

Stuart Atkinson, watch manager at Crosby Coastguard station, said on Tuesday: "We received a call from Lancashire Police reporting that a male was in the water near the South Pier at Blackpool.

"A second male had been in the water but managed to get to safety and raise the alarm.

"We believe, but it's not confirmed, that they were walking their dogs.

"A search was carried out by coastguard rescue units, the local RNLI lifeboats from Blackpool and Lytham St Annes and the police helicopter.

"The rescue helicopter from RAF Valley was also there providing lighting assistance for the search teams."

Further shore-based searches were carried out on Wednesday but they have now ended, said a Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman.

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