The tragic story about how Prince William tried to save a drowning boy

Jun 23, 2018
03:37 A.M.
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Prince William, who worked as an air ambulance pilot with a search and rescue force, saved many lives but was unsuccessful in his attempt to rescue a 16-year-old boy.


Mirror reported that the Duke of Cambridge was scrambled to the scene in Hertfordshire in May 2017.

William left the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in July last year, citing mental health reasons. He was associated with the team since March 2015.

In was involved in several search and rescue operations during his tenure during which he saved dozens of lives across the country. Unfortunately, there was one 16-year-old boy he could not save.

Robbie Lea was enjoying a swim in Lea Valley Park, Hertfordshire, with a couple of friends on the hottest day of the year. The group had visited the area before, but it was the first time they entered the water.


On May 25, the court in Hatfield heard how the three friends, Robbie, Kieran Cook, and Jayden Baldwin, went to the River Lea.


Detective constable Vikki Murray said the boys wanted to spend the day together. Robbie and Kieran decided to swim to an island about 30 meters away from the bank. Jayden was not confident and chose to stay back.

The two got the island, sat there for five minutes, and decided to swim back. Kieran said it was harder than he thought it would be.


She continued, “They were about halfway across. Kieran could see Robbie struggling. Robbie grabbed at Kieran and Robbie went under the water.”

The friends immediately called emergency services, 999, to search for the drowning boy. A witness told Express that the helicopter was flying “extremely low” so he ran over to see what was going on. He was surprised to find Prince William himself flying.


The search and rescue team combed the area but found the boy at around 8:26 p.m. under 15ft of water. About half an hour later, a paramedic pronounced him dead.

According to Shared, an exciting and challenging opportunity turned into a “moment of extreme emotion” for the Royal.

Though there is no conclusive evidence that the teenager’s death was the sole reason Prince William announced he would be leaving the air ambulance service, it is safe to think it could have been a factor.

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