Prince William Saves Teen In Helicopter Sea Rescue
08/18/2012 AT 05:00 PM EDT
On Thursday, Prince William piloted a RAF Search and Rescue Force helicopter deployed to save a teenage girl drowning off the coast of Wales.
The 16-year-old and her friend had been body-boarding when they were caught in a riptide and dragged out to sea, reports CNN. The friend, 13, was rescued by a surfer, but the elder teen swallowed water and was slipping under the surface when the alert was raised.
The Duke of Cambridge had just landed the Sea King helicopter after the completion of a routine exercise, allowing him and the crew to arrive on scene in only 38 seconds.
"When I got to her, the girl was clearly exhausted and was going under the water for what was the very last time," paramedic Master Aircrew Harry Harrison told the BBC.
"Sometimes it's just a twisted ankle or a broken bone, but this was one rescue where we truly did arrive in the nick of time."
Flight Lt. Wales, as he's known to his crew, has been stationed at the search and rescue base on the Welsh island of Anglesey – where he lives with wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – since 2010. In May, he qualified as search and rescue captain after previously serving as co-pilot.