The Duke of Cambridge has helped save the life of a teenage girl swept away by a rip current while swimming in the sea.

William captained an RAF search and rescue helicopter which plucked the 16-year-old to safety in Silver Bay on Anglesey, North Wales.

The five members of the Sea King crew had just returned to base when they were tasked to attend two girls in distress in the water.

Holidaymakers on the beach watched helplessly as the girls battled against the strong tide. The younger of the two was rescued by a surfer.

The rescue is said to be one of the quickest ever carried out, with the helicopter taking 38 seconds from take-off until it arrived at the scene.

Master Aircrew Harry Harrison was winched into the water to rescue the girl, who had been body-boarding.

He said: "We never know what we'll face when we're called out. 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 and managed to save this young girl's life."

The Sea King landed on the beach to collect the other girl, then flew to another part of the beach to collect the mother of the girl who was rescued by the helicopter and took them all to Bangor Hospital.

During the short flight the girl told the rescuers that she thought she was about to die, according to a spokesman for the RAF.

William, or Flight Lieutenant Wales as he is known in his capacity as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, captains Sea King helicopters from his unit's base at RAF Valley on Anglesey.