Prince William

Prince William leads rescue attempt at sea on New Year's Day

Jan. 2, 2013 at 1:42 PM ET

Adrian Dennis / AFP / Getty Images file /
William, who spent the holiday away from Duchess Kate, led a search-and-rescue mission off the coast of England.Here the prince trains at airbase RAF Cranwell in Jan. 2008.

Prince William's New Year's plans were probably always going to be more impressive than yours. Turns out, they were probably a bit more heroic, too.

That's because Kate Middleton's future baby daddy spent the first day of 2013 piloting a search-and-rescue mission off the coast of England.

Find out how Will and Kate spent Christmas Day

The coast guard confirmed to the BBC that while on duty for the Royal Air Force, Wills was called upon to pilot the RAF Sea King helicopter that was sent out to search for a 41-year-old Blackpool man who, while walking his dog along the coastline during gale-force winds, was swept to sea in the early morning hours of Jan. 1.

The royally manned helicopter provided the lighting necessary for the search teams to scan the surrounding waters off the coast of the Irish Sea. The mission lasted approximately 90 minutes.

Australian DJs "unlikely" to face charges for Kate Middleton nurse prank

Sadly, the missing man has not yet been located.

"We have covered every possible angle and it's now in the hands of the police," a spokesman for the coast guard said.

As for Kate, she reportedly spent her New Year's Day in a much more relaxed manner: at her parents' home.

Check out Will and Kate's greatest newlywed moments

Image: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend The St Patrick's Day Parade At Mons Barracks, Aldershot
Max Mumby
Take a look at the prince’s life, from a privileged childhood to an exciting adulthood.

More on TODAY:

TOP