Royal Watch News
Prince William praises rescue efforts
Nov 15, 2012, 12:02 GMT
Britain's Prince William has praised the 'extraordinary professionalism' of mountain rescue volunteers searching for a five-year-old schoolgirl.
The RAF Search and Rescue pilot feels 'so proud' of the 'grit and sheer hard work' shown by the Mountain Rescue England and Wales charity volunteer teams in their search for April Jones, who went missing in Machynlleth, Mid-Wales, on October 1.
Their efforts were part of a huge operation which police have continued and they have vowed it will go on until after Christmas.
In a letter to the aid organisation - of which he is their royal patron - the second-in-line to the throne wrote: 'I am time and again made to feel so proud and so humbled by our rescue teams - the lengths you go to in your work, your commitment and dedication to the job, and your extraordinary professionalism.
'This was as evident as ever in the recent search for little April Jones, who was so awfully taken away from her family.
'These high profile cases are just a reminder to us all of what the mountain rescue teams do day in, day out.
'I am sure that the search for April must have been the hardest of its kind.
'I know that you did everything in your power to find her.
'I cannot commend you highly enough for your unbelievable perseverance, grit and sheer hard work - we are all so lucky to have people like you in our communities.'
Dion Jones, one of the call-out co-ordinators with the Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team, says the letter from the 30-year-old royal - who qualified as a search and rescue pilot in September 2010 and gained his captaincy with the Royal Air Force in June - was much appreciated.
He explained: 'It's a privilege when someone so important looks at what we do and realises the dedication and commitment involved.
'It was a very difficult situation and I estimated that we put in about 600 man-hours from the Tuesday night until the following Sunday.
'Some of the lads took time off work so they could take part in the search.'
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