BBC TV show reveals how flare saved RNLI crew


Every day around the UK an army of unpaid volunteers put their lives at risk to save complete strangers in trouble on the water. But a new TV show reveals how one RNLI crew rescued colleagues in difficulty – thanks to a flare.

The four-part BB1 TV documentary, Saving Lives At Sea, tells the story of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) who are ready to launch their boats and race to the rescue within minutes of a cry for help - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, whatever the weather.

The RNLI is a major user of Pains Wessex marine distress signals and takes part in technical exchanges and product feedback.

Over 150 years, the volunteers of the RNLI have saved the lives of more than 140,000 people. The winter months are the most treacherous for the people they are called upon to rescue, and for the volunteers themselves.

In the first episode, the show features a dramatic incident in Blackpool, when an RNLI rescue in a force seven gale went badly wrong, putting all three crew members’ lives in jeopardy.

The crew battled three-metre waves near Blackpool’s North Pier when their own lifeboat capsized, trapping volunteer, Darren Gillies, underneath the boat.

He was rescued by chance by RNLI helmsman Shaun Wright, who was alerted to the danger after a red flare was fired by Kyle, who had been thrown into the waves when the boat capsized.

He says, “I have never seen a crew fire their red flare off until then. We weren’t expecting to rescue one of our own.”

The hour-long show tells of offshore, inland and cliff rescues across the UK. There has been so much interest in the show and the courageous lifesavers that the RNLI website was taken down overnight.

Chris Feibusch, Drew Marine Signal and Safety’s Global Head of Marketing, says, “We work closely with the RNLI and we know what wonderful work they do.

“This BBC series will further raise its profile and allow more people to understand how heroic RNLI volunteers really are."

Saving Lives at Sea is shown on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesdays.

jul. 22, 2016