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Prince William in documentary as Search and Rescue sold off

The television series that documents Prince William's time with the Search and Rescue operations coincides with the news that the service is to be taken away from the RAF and privatised - a move that the prince is believed to have opposed.

ITV News' Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports:

Read more: Government announces that Britain's search and rescue service has been sold off to a US firm for £1.6 billion.

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Prince William aids in quarry rescue

BBC One Wales have released a short preview video for Helicopter Rescue, the documentary featuring Prince William and the Search and Rescue team at the prince's base at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

The Sea King helicopter
The Sea King helicopter Credit: BBC Wales

The Duke of Cambridge is shown piloting a helicopter on a rescue mission to a slate quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

One of his crew are winched from the ground after rescuing a boy who had fallen off an old railway bridge onto rocks.

Prince William speaking in the BBC documentary Helicopter Rescue
Prince William speaking in the BBC documentary Helicopter Rescue Credit: BBC Wales

"As captain you're trying to play out the entire rescue, the transit to the rescue and back again in your mind, and pick up any circumstances or problems you can foresee, and try and fix them on the ground before you get airborne," he says in the programme.

The Sea King winches one of the Search and Rescue crew
The Sea King winches one of the Search and Rescue crew Credit: BBC Wales
Wales

New search and rescue fleet

AW189
Two Augusta Westland AW-192 helicopters will be based at St Athan Credit: Bristow Helicopters

After winning the contract to take over search and rescue helicopter cover from the RAF, Bristow Helicopters have released details of the new fleet that will be deployed in April 2015.

There will be two helicopters at both its Welsh bases -Caernarfon Airport and the MOD site at St Athan near Barry.

S92
Caernarfon Airport will get two Sikorsky S-92 helicopters Credit: Bristow Helicopters

Caernarfon's Sikorsky helicopters will cover an area of 250 nautical miles around the base and each carry three stretchers and up to 10 seated casualties. Augusta Westlands will cover 200 nautical miles around St Athan and each have room for two stretchers and six seated casualties.

All the helicopters will have a crew of four and be capable of flying at 145 nautical miles an hour.

Duke of Cambridge's base could be shut down

The Duke of Cambridge shows his father one of the RAF's distinctive yellow Sea King helicopters at RAF Valley on Anglesey
The Duke of Cambridge shows his father one of the RAF's distinctive yellow Sea King helicopters at RAF Valley on Anglesey Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Among the 12 bases from where search and rescue operations are launched is RAF Valley on Anglesey, where the Duke of Cambridge is based.

Under the contracts due to be unveiled tomorrow, the total number of bases is expected to be cut from 12 to10 although it is not clear which bases will be closed.

Assurances have already been given that the Duke will be moved to another part of the military rather than being employed by the firm that is awarded the search and rescue contracts.

Read: Government to announce sell-off of Search and Rescue service

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