RNLI lifesavers at Seahouses to feature in new series of popular TV documentary

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Seahouses RNLI will be taking to the 17th November 2020 as they feature in Series 5 episode 6 of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Causeway Safety poster

RNLI/Ian Clayton

Causeway Safety poster
Real life rescue footage captured on their helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save every one needing help or rescue.

Now in its fifth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around the UK and Ireland. The series will air on BBC Two on Thursdays at 8pm, as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

Real rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards alongside the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on 17th November, sees Seahouses RNLI going to the assistance of two cars trapped by the tide at Holy Island Causeway, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts. The Seahouses incident occurred at 12:23hr on Sunday 8th March 2020. UK Coastguards received multiple emergency calls reporting a number vehicles and people trapped on Holy Island Causeway, by the fast incoming tide. One vehicle contained two adults and a 3yr old child, who were starting to panic as the choppy sea was breaking over the windows and had filled the car with sea water. A successful rescue was effected. At the time Seahouses Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Clayton added, “This was a call that required a quick response as the cars were beginning to float, and were at risk of being washed away, which could have resulted in loss of life. Good co-operation with our colleagues from the Coastguard, Berwick RNLI, Northumbria Police and North East Ambulance, ensured a potentially dangerous situation was safely managed with a positive outcome.”

Keith Slater, Helm of Seahouses Inshore lifeboat crew who features in the forthcoming episode with Crewmen Marc Pearce and James Higgins, says:

‘It's great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers do in a TV programme like this. In recent months, the pandemic has presented us as lifesavers some added challenges, but we’ve continued to maintain a 24/7 search and rescue service. This year, due to Covid, fundraising events have been cancelled and we’ve seen a drop in our charitable income. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea and it’s great to be able to share what we do with our supporters from the comfort of their own home. We need their support more than ever during these challenging times.’

The film brings into sharp focus the continued danger to motorists and walkers who attempt to cross the Causeway without full awareness of the safe crossing times.

Nick Ayers, Regional Water Safety Lead with the RNLI, said: ]‘Holy Island is a wonderful place to visit, full of history and natural beauty. But for those not aware, the tidal causeway can present a danger. All too often motorists are caught out, meaning time-consuming and costly callouts for the Coastguard and the RNLI’s lifeboat crews.

‘Tourists are the most likely to get caught out, so spreading the safety message far and wide is vital. Featuring on the BBC’s Saving Lives at Sea will hopefully make many more people aware of the dangers and how to avoid them.’

To ensure a safe crossing, always check the official council website at holyislandcrossingtimes.northumberland.gov.uk. Physical signs are also place at either end of the causeway – if the signs are red it’s not safe to cross, if they’re green it is safe.

RNLI/Ian Clayton

Banner for broadcast day

RNLI/Ian Clayton

Seahouses ILB on service

RNLI/Ian Clayton

Seahouses ILB on service

RNLI/Ian Clayton

The Causeway at low tide

RNLI/Ian Clayton

The Causeway at low tide

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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