A STUDENT at Halesowen College had an underwater experience he will never forget when he scuba dived alongside Prince William.

Tom Billingham, aged 17, donned his wetsuit and took the plunge at an event to mark The Duke of Cambridge taking over as president of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC).

Stourbridge resident Tom described the recent reception at the Oasis Sports Centre, London, as a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

Tom, who is a member of BSAC and dives with the Dudley Dolphins, said: “The Duke was very confident underwater and it felt very safe diving with him. I think it is in his blood."

The teen, who also enjoys snorkeling and sailing, continued: "He was just really pleasant and chatty. I hope it will encourage more young people to take up the sport now he is our president because it is a brilliant sport to get into. I really enjoy it and feel very passionate about it."

The Duke, who was joined by his father and former president Prince Charles, said: “I hope that one day my son, George, might follow in our footsteps. At the moment bathtime is a quite painful but I imagine as he gets a little bit older donning a snorkel and mask might calm him down."