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RNLI Torbay to feature in BBC national news report on Shipping Forecast

Lifeboats News Release

A BBC News crew visited Brixham recently to interview RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick O’Brien for a forthcoming programme on the 150th anniversary of the Shipping Forecast.

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick O'Brien preparing for the interview

Nick, and presenter Sarah Keith-Lucas, went aboard the Severn Class all-weather lifeboat to record an interview for the upcoming anniversary of the national forecast, describing how the RNLI have used the information over the years. They were joined in Brixham by Senior Broadcast Journalist for BBC News Nina Goswami and cameraman Anthony Clifford on what was a cold and grey November day.

The team had first briefly visited Torbay boathouse, then conducted the interview with Nick on board relief all-weather lifeboat Volunteer Spirit whilst she was moored to the lifeboat pontoon.

Most people in Britain – whether seafarers or not – are familiar with the soothing tones of the Shipping Forecast, which is issued four times a day at 2300, 0500, 1100 and 1700 UTC and covers a 24-hour period. Whether confirming calm conditions or warning of severe gales off our coastline, the familiar names like Cromarty, Rockall and German Bight have a poetic ring, but the forecast is still used by sailors alongside other technology (and can be crucial if other equipment has failed).

The full news feature will look at the history of the Forecast and include a fascinating visit to the Met Office in Exeter to see how delivering the service has evolved over the years. Torbay falls within sea area Portland, with bordering area Plymouth nearby.

The RNLI Torbay team were pleased to be involved – catch the feature on BBC News at Six (possibly also News at Ten) on Wednesday of next week, 29 November.

Notes to editors

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Victoria Bowen, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07794 043 428: or contact Carrie Garrad, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07786 668 847: or alternatively RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789.

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

Interview underway aboard Volunteer Spirit

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

Presenter Sarah Keith-Lucas interviews Nick O'Brien on board the all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

The BBC national news team during the interview

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

The BBC team called into RNLI Torbay boathouse during their visit

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat Volunteer Spirit was the setting on the day

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland