Prince William helps lead New Year's day rescue

January 2, 2013 10:24:57 AM PST
While most of the world celebrated the arrival of the New Year, the future king of England helped lead a rescue mission for a man lost at sea.

Prince William serves as a military rescue pilot. His unit got a call 15 minutes into the New Year to help find a 41-year-old man who was swept to sea while walking his dog on a pier in northwest England. The prince's helicopter took off within one minute of getting the call. The chopper crew braved 50-mile an hour winds.

"It's great because you get to go out and save someone's life, hopefully, or at least make a difference to someone when you know they're in trouble. You do everything you can to try and get there," the prince said.

The prince's pregnant wife Kate was celebrating the New Year with her family while he answered his call to duty. The Coast Guard eventually called off the search for the man.