Royal Watch News
Prince William's winchman honoured
Sep 28, 2012, 11:01 GMT
Britain's Prince William's winchman has been given a top honour by the Ministry of Defence.
Richard Taylor - the crew leader in the Sea King piloted by the Duke of Cambridge, which helped rescue two sailors from the Atlantic last year - demonstrated 'outstanding bravery and skill' and was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Bravery in the Air.
The MoD said: 'Duty crew at RAF Valley was woken in the early hours of a stormy November morning last year at 0200 to attend to a ship in distress, 30 nautical miles southwest of their location.
'The vessel had been broken in two by the high seas, sinking exceptionally quickly, leaving eight lives in jeopardy. A nearby ship which had responded to the mayday call of the stricken vessel had sighted dinghies in the water, passing their position to the crew on Valley.
'Taylor remained calm and focussed, showing true courage and determination when in extremely stressful and dangerous conditions, demonstrating outstanding bravery and skill.'
William and his crew first spotted a life raft but infrared scanners did not reveal any life on board.
To double-check, Taylor - who already holds the Queen's Gallantry Medal - was winched out to carry out a physical search of the boat.
Video of the search shows the winch struggling to cope with the stormy conditions. Taylor was thrown several times into the raging water - and at one stage was trapped under the life raft.
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