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Man dies after falling 500ft from Snowdon

Crews from RAF Valley were called to recover the man's body and winch his friend to safety Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

A man has died after falling hundreds of feet while climbing Snowdon with a friend.The 21 year old was descending from the summit yesterday when he went down a steep grassy slope and fell 500 feet from a cliff.

His body was recovered by an RAF rescue helicopter from Valley, Anglesey. The man's walking companion was heard calling for help from the mountainside and winched to safety.

Walker thanks crew who saved his life

Peter has little memory of the rescue. Credit: SAC Gina, Edgcumbe, RAF SAR Force © MOD 2013

An reunion's been held at RAF Valley on Anglesey between a hill walker and the crew of a rescue helicopter who saved his life.

Peter Mincher from Wolverhampton fell whilst walking in Snowdonia and sustained serious injuries in May this year.

RAF Valley's duty SAR crew was sent to reach Peter and members of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team.

But thick cloud meant winchman Sgt Pete Wood (right) had to leave the aircraft and guide pilot Flt Lt Rob Jones (left) up the mountain, avoiding rocks as the helicopter hover-taxied.

Mr Mincher was loaded on board and process reversed to fly him to hospital.

Mr Mincher's dog Sooty bolted during the rescue and, after surviving on pools of rainwater, was found 10 days later by members of the Ogwen Valley MRT.

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Young artist donates Sea King painting to RAF Valley

Emily Speakman presents Sergeant Martin Seward with her painting inside the Sea King at RAF Valley Credit: Corporal Pete Devine, RAF SAR Force © MOD 2013

A 14-year-old artist from Mold has 'blown away' RAF Valley Search and Rescue crews by presenting them with an oil painting of a Sea King helicopter.

Emily Speakman's painting 'Brenin Y Mor' - The Sea King - depicts a C Flight 22 Squadron helicopter flying over the sea near Holyhead.

RAF Sergeant Martin Seward said: “Emily’s painting is of such a high quality that I was completely blown away. It’s hard to believe it was painted by a 14-year-old.”

Emily and her family pictured in front of the Sea King with Search and Rescue crew members Credit: Corporal Pete Devine, RAF SAR Force © MOD 2013

After presenting the painting to the force, Emily and her family were taken inside the duty SAR Sea King - the same helicopter depicted in the painting.

The teenager, who has been painting for just over two years, said she is 'fascinated' with the Sea King.

Of her artistic ability, Emily said: "I used to watch a TV programme on art and asked my mother for an oil-painting set and that was the start of it.”

Her painting will now hang on the wall of the force headquarters.

Man airlifted from castle turret with injured knee

A man had to be airlifted out of the turret after injuring his knee. Credit: PA

A man had to be airlifted from the turret of one of Wales' landmarks today - after injuring his knee.

The 41-year-old man stumbled on a step while visiting Conwy Castle.

Despite receiving treatment from a paramedic, the spiral staircase in the turret meant he could not be taken back down so had to be airlifted by a search and rescue helicopter.

A helicopter was sent from RAF Valley in Anglesey and he was winched via stretcher and taken to Bangor Hospital.

Woman rescued from rocks in Colwyn Bay

A woman was winched to safety after falling on to rocks in Colwyn Bay yesterday afternoon. Holyhead Coastguard says they received a call from the ambulance service at around 4pm to say a woman had fallen 15 feet on to rocks and was complaining of neck and back pain.

The ambulance crew were unable to reach her and so a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley was called to assist. The woman was winched from the rocks and then taken to hospital by ambulance.

RAF Valley crews also airlifted a 50-year-old man from the Halfway House on Snowdon last night after he fell and broke his ankle.

National

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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National

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

Search and Rescue privatisation is 'step into the unknown'

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Ynys Môn says that selling off the search and rescue service to a private contractor is "a step into the unknown."

Speaking following the announcement which will see the service move from Anglesey to Caernarfon.

The current search and rescue service operated by the RAF at Valley has been an excellent service for 70 years. It has saved hundreds of lives by rescuing people not only from the mountains of Wales but also those who have found themselves in difficulties around our coastline. This is a much valued service based at RAF Valley.

– Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Plaid Cymru

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.

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