The Duchess of Cornwall has met two patients who credit the air ambulance service with saving their lives.
Her Royal Highness, a Patron of the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, was also given the opportunity to look inside the bright red and yellow helicopter responsible for emergency rescues across Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly.
Dressed in a yellow jacket displaying the charity's pin badge, a white skirt and beige heeled shoes, The Duchess was also celebrating the charity's 25th anniversary.
Her Royal Highness officially opened the new headquarters of the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust based at Newquay Airport by unveiling a plaque and praised the work done by the charity.
During the hour-long visit she met the fundraising team and trustees, toured the air ambulance crew quarters and received a demonstration of specialist equipment.
The visit comes on the final day of Their Royal Highnesses' three day tour of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The Duchess met with Catherine Gardner, 35, from Winslow, Buckinghamshire, and Harriet Eastwood, 13, from near Truro in Cornwall.
Ms Gardner's life was saved when she was airlifted from Crooklets beach after falling into the sea from a horse, while Miss Eastwood was also airlifted from a beach when she became caught in a rip current.
In June 2009, Ms Gardner, an experienced horse rider, was riding with her sister-in-law, Rebecca Gardner, along the beach near Bude when she fell from the animal.
Ms Gardner, who was on holiday with her family, suffered lung failure and developed acute respiratory distress syndrome following the near drowning experience.
"I had a fall into the sea from the horse and initially I seemed ok, but the next thing I knew wasn't until three-and-a-half weeks later when I came round in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth," she said.
"I can remember saying to my sister-in-law 'I'm fine, I'm fine', I was knocked out and winded, but also obviously I inhaled a lot of water and so she called the ambulance, but I don't remember anything else.
"I was actually really very lucky.
"The air ambulance definitely saved my life, taking me to the best hospital for my injuries rather than the nearest, which you might get with the land ambulance.
"We're a good example of people that are not from the area and never thought we would need it, but the air ambulance was there for us and had a huge impact on our lives."
Ms Gardner and her family have since been raising money by running marathons and 10K runs for the charity.
"It was a great honour to meet The Duchess," Ms Gardner said.
"We had a surprisingly long chat and she asked me if I had been back on a horse since, which I have.
"She asked lots of details about what had happened and what has happened since and really took on board what a live saving service it is."
Miss Eastwood, who is in Year 8 at Roseland Community School and presented The Duchess with a bunch of flowers, added: "I have been really excited ever since being told I was going to meet The Duchess and she was a really nice lady."
The teenager, who was nine when the incident happened, was caught in a rip current when visiting Caerhays beach with her grandparents in September 2009.
Miss Eastwood was saved from the sea by a passer-by, while another man went on to perform CPR before the air ambulance arrived.
"I don't really remember what happened," Miss Eastwood said.
"Which is good really as I'm not a fan of heights."
The Duchess, who has been Patron of the Cornwall Air Ambulance since last year, was also shown inside the charity's rescue helicopter.
Lead paramedic Steve Garvey, from Hale, West Cornwall, said: "She was interested to find out about the operation, what sort of missions we attend and how many we do a year.
"I was showing her all the life saving equipment that we have within the aircraft and she also noticed the teddy bears, which if unfortunately a child patient has to travel with us we either give that to the child to try and ease the experience, or give it to mum, to help the child feel more at ease through the experience."
Mr Garvey went on to demonstrate how a new piece of equipment, a laryngoscope, is used to take pictures of the inside of a patient's airway.
Cornwall Air Ambulance is the first air ambulance to get the £4,250 piece of equipment which was bought following fundraising by the Newquay Towan Blystra Lions Club.
The Cornwall Air Ambulance teams moved into the headquarters earlier this year, but the Duchess of Cornwall's visit marks the official opening of the building.
"The new facility is fantastic," Mr Garvey said.
"After 25 years of being in a Portacabin to have this brand new purpose built facility is a fantastic experience."
Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust's building is the first air ambulance charity headquarters in the UK to house both operational crew and fundraising staff on one site.
Before leaving, The Duchess said: "I just want to congratulate you all on this wonderful job with the new building.
"I have spoken to so many people who have been saved by the air ambulance and I don't know what this community, or any other communities, would do in Britain without the air ambulance.
"I want to say thank you to everybody for the service they provide and the lives they save."
The last stop on the three day tour was to Lostwithiel - 18 months after The Prince's last visit in the aftermath of the floods which devastated the town.
The Prince toured the town just two days after floods struck on 17th November, 2010 visiting affected shops, homes, the fire station and meeting those whose helped in the aftermath.
During his visit in November 2010 The Prince had praised the stoicism and resilience shown by the Cornish community.
The Prince met cafe owner John Speight, 55, whose cafe was destroyed in the floods.
His Royal Highness met him again today and heard Mr Speight has still not been able to re-open his business.
"Everything happened the day of the floods," Mr Speight said.
"My son had a heart attack the night before so I wasn't here when it all happened, I had to go to hospital.
"By the time I got down here we didn't really get any help from anybody.
"It was just a case of cleaning everything out, but everything just went from bad to worse."
Mr Speight asked The Prince if he could write to him and see what sort of assistance he could give.
"He's been very good, I think he really does care," Mr Speight said.
"The impression I get is that he is not the sort of person that goes away and forgets about it.
"I think he does care about what's going on and I think also he does need to know what people's experiences are like, not just the ones that have all got sorted out, but the people that are still having problems and there's plenty of people that are having problems."
The Prince and The Duchess also listened to the story of Val Rosevear and as His Royal Highness heard what had happened to her home he clutched her hand.
"He was holding it very tightly," Mrs Rosevear said.
"He didn't want to let it go as if he was feeling very, well, understanding about it all."
Mrs Rosevear also lost her husband following the flooding and he never saw their home back to its former condition.
"We woke up about 5.30am that morning in November and the rain just came down and we went up into our lounge and couldn't believe it was that deep, we couldn't open the doors, we couldn't get out and we were standing in slippers and couldn't do anything.
"We just had to stand there and watch the rain and the river overflow.
"We were left with a horrible sludge and a horrible smell and everything was ruined, everything we had worked for and had all went in the skip."
Their Royal Highnesses were also shown a demonstration of how the town is planning to deal with a repeat of the floods which crippled parts of the town.
The couple met about 40 young people who were taking part in "Exercise Independence" - which is based around the scenario of a major flood.
They were from uniformed associations in Cornwall and included members of Scouts' and Guides' groups, St John's Ambulance, Boys' Brigade and the Army, police, fire, air and sea cadets.
The cadets have completed The Duke of Cornwall Community Safety Award and the exercise involved some of the householders who were affected by the flooding.
The special demonstration took place next to the river and included five mini exercises based around people's homes.
The Prince and The Duchess witnessed the youngsters preparing sand bags, knocking on the doors of homes to warn householders of the rising water levels, supporting the fire and rescue service to pump out flood water from affected homes and helping householders to evacuate their homes safely.
The demonstration follows a suggestion from The Prince following the 2010 downpours that Scouts and Guides could help support communities when there is an emergency.
Following the exercise the young people were formally presented with their award certificates by the Royal couple.
Fourteen-year-old Bailey Edmeads, who was taking part, said: "I just wished I could have helped more when I saw the floods in 2010.
"Today we showed The Prince and The Duchess how we would fill the sand bags and showing how we would help the community if a flood occurred in the area again."
The Prince went on to visit the Old Duchy Palace on Quay Street to take a look at renovation work being carried out.
He donned a fluorescent jacket and white hard hat as he took a tour around the grade one listed building, which had previously been on the Building at Risk Register and was in need of repair if it was to survive.
The Old Duchy Palace was built by Edmund Earl of Cornwall in 1292. In 1337, the Black Prince, the eldest son of Edward III, created the first Duke of Cornwall and he made this palace the administrative centre for the duchy.
The palace became ruinous in the 17th Century but the original hall remains intact. In 1878, it became a Freemasons' temple, and it remained as such until 2008.
In 2009 The Prince's Regeneration Trust, of which The Prince is President, acquired it in order to save its unique heritage and develop it into a mixed-use space that will benefit the local community.
The trust is working with the Cornwall Building Preservation Trust to deliver the renovation, with construction work due to be completed by the end of 2012.
The work so far has uncovered layers of previously hidden heritage such as the remnants of a stunning rose window, imposing oak trusses, masonic paintings, new layers of brickwork and fireplace openings.
As he left the town The Prince waved to crowds who had gathered outside the palace.