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Saving Lives at Sea: Series 7 Episode 8

Find out more about the stories and stations featured in series 7 episode 8 of Saving Lives at Sea, with rescues from Thurso, Dungeness and Newhaven.

If you enjoyed Newhaven RNLI's incredible rescue of Max the dog in this episode, you'll love this compilation of three fantastic dog rescues.

Thurso: A lone rower

A small grey rowing boat alongside Thurso’s Severn class lifeboat, where six crew members are standing on deck

RNLI/Karen Munro

Thurso RNLI launch on an all-day rescue mission to a rower

The episode began with the crew at Thurso launching to a lone rower, blown off course by the tide and wind. He was 39 miles out to sea, and it took the all-weather lifeboat volunteers almost 2 hours to reach him. The crew initially set up a tow rope, with the rower staying onboard his boat, but the heavy seas and big waves made this too dangerous and he was brought onboard the Severn class lifeboat. The challenging seas made progress slow, but the crew and the rower eventually arrived back in Scrabster – more than 9 hours after they first set off!

Lifeboat crews sometimes need to tow other boats to safety. This might sound straightforward, but sometimes these are gruellingly long journeys in ferocious weather.

What's really involved in a tow?

Dungeness: Blown out to sea

Over in Dungeness, we saw the lifeboat crew launch to rescue an 11-year old boy who drifted more than a mile out to sea on an inflatable dinghy. It was the summer holidays, and the boy and his family had been visiting the beach. As soon as his dinghy started to float out to sea, his family called 999 and asked for the Coastguard. The RNLI crew soon reached the schoolboy, and reunited him with his worried family.

Inflatables are one of the most common reasons our lifeboat crews and lifeguards are called to action each summer. Here's how you and your family can stay safe on the beach.

Get beach safety tips

Newhaven: A lucky pup

Next, we saw the crew at Newhaven RNLI rush to help a dog who had fallen from a cliff edge at Seaford, East Sussex. Using their small inflatable Y-boat, the crew headed to the base of the cliffs and found the Border Collie, named Max, seemingly unharmed from his fall. The volunteers picked up the lucky pup and returned him to his owners.

Heading to the coast? Here's how to keep your dog safe by the water.

Top tips for your four-legged friend

Dungeness: Stranded at sea

Dungeness RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat on the Shannon Launch and Recovery Vehicle in the dark.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

We were back with the Dungeness RNLI crew for the final rescue of this episode. The lifeboat volunteers launched their Shannon class lifeboat and, searching in the dark, managed to find and rescue the casualties from the dangerous English Channel.

If you want to hear more stories of heroism from RNLI lifesavers, and other exciting updates on what's happening across the RNLI, you can have them sent direct to your email, by signing up for our newsletter.

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