A retired Hong Kong judge who had a heart attack while hiking in the Welsh mountains was rescued by Britain's Prince William, who rushed him by Sea King helicopter to hospital. Yesterday Nick Barnett, 70, praised the prince and the rest of the rescue team whose fast actions saved his life. Barnett, who served as a High Court judge in Hong Kong until 1999, was climbing Y Lliwedd in Snowdonia, North Wales, along with his army officer son Giles, 31, when he was taken ill. His son dialled the emergency rescue number for help. The Sea King that arrived from RAF Valley was co-piloted by Prince William, who had just rejoined duty after delaying his honeymoon. A winchman was lowered down and diagnosed a heart attack. He strapped Barnett into a harness which lifted him into the aircraft, British media reports said. Snowdon is challenging and the rescue mision on Friday - a week after the prince's wedding to Kate Middleton - was made all the more impressive as the victim was located, winched aboard and rushed to hospital within the vital 'golden hour' for coronary care to be most effective. 'As I was being stretchered away from the aircraft I saw one of the pilots on the right-hand side looking at me and I gave him the OK sign with my hand,' Barnett said yesterday. 'He acknowledged me. Whether it was the prince I don't know. I didn't know he was aboard the aircraft until a nurse whispered to me in the emergency department that Prince William was on the helicopter.' Barnett, who now lives in the English county of West Sussex, was transferred to Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor, and yesterday was well enough to be transferred to a specialist Liverpool hospital. 'I didn't set out to be rescued by Prince William. I'd planned a nice day on the hills and to have a nice pint of beer in Betws y Coed where we were staying. 'Family and friends are all stunned by who saved me,' he said.