Patient jokes he hopes William wasn’t piloting his helicopter – to find out he was!

One injured man, assisted by the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service, was surprised to find The Duke of Cambridge helping him – seconds after joking he hoped the Prince wasn’t flying the helicopter.

Jim Schembri, 37, was being treated by paramedics flown in on an air ambulance after a tree branch collapsed, leaving him with a dislocated shoulder and hip. His injuries required attention from medics, and potentially a quick flight to hospital.

Image: Jim Schembri is rescued near Wisbech, Cambs, after he had an accident on a tree

Jim Schembri (seen on stretcher) was helped by Prince William (middle, kneeling), who works for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. ADAM REEVE / GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

“It wasn’t until they were actually loading me into the helicopter that it clicked,” he told Good Morning Britain, his arm still in a sling.

“I said, ‘Old Willsy better not be flying this thing.’ He [Prince William] turned around and said, ‘I’ve been holding your head for the last 30 minutes.'”

He added: “I was so drugged up on ketamine that I went, ‘Oh well, you better come see me [in the hospital] then.'”

Speaking about the Duke’s role in the team, he said: “Just a valued part of that team as any other member. The fact that he is a royal, future King of England, doing a normal man’s job. And what everyone seems people forget he donates all his wages back to the air ambulance.”


“He was comforting me the whole time and telling me exactly what he was doing. He had a very calm demeanour and there was no flapping.

“He was extremely good at his job. I was very lucky. It was the best care I could ever have asked for.”

When questioned about William’s skills in the cockpit, he said: “He was very smooth.”

William, who started the piloting job back in July, stayed with Schembri for 40 minutes in A&E after the incident on 22nd March in Cambridgeshire.

When asked if the Prince had called on him afterwards, Schembri replied ‘no’ but added: “A text would be nice.”


Share this

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.