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Newhaven RNLI crew return to BBC Two’s Saving Lives at Sea

Lifeboats News Release

The busy RNLI crew of Newhaven Lifeboat will feature on BBC Two’s ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ for a third time this series at 7pm on Thursday 10 November. Newhaven RNLI are called to a huge variety of ‘shouts’ and are currently recruiting new volunteers to join their existing crew.


Danny Woodford on service to yacht Mayday below Seven Sisters cliffs
A grounded yacht in rolling seas presents a serious challenge for Newhaven RNLI, featured this Thursday at 7pm in Series 7, episode 10 of BBC Two’s Saving Lives at Sea.

Among the four featured Newhaven crew this episode is Danny Woodford, taxi driver and RNLI volunteer crew / trainee mechanic.

Newhaven volunteer crew will launch to help vessels as varied as tall ships, fishing trawlers, yachts, paddle boards and dingies. All the casualties there-in and the countless others who never intended to enter the water.

When the pagers go off attending crew are expected to get to the station within eight minutes. Danny lives roughly six minutes away, although his fastest arrival to date was a mere 30-seconds. He pulled up his taxi to pick someone up from the building opposite, when his pager went off.

Danny Woodford, says: ‘Having supportive people around me, who understand that I may disappear every now and then, helps me to make myself available for the lifeboat – for training and being on call for shouts.’

Lauren, Danny’s girlfriend, who tells us that the pager still makes her jump when it goes off, explains that she is very proud of what Danny does for the community and she doesn’t worry when he’s out on the boat because “the crew are all lovely supportive people who always look out for each other”.

Newhaven RNLI are currently recruiting new volunteer crew to join their inclusive team, working both the Severn class ALB and the soon to be on service D-class ILB.

It’s not unusual for the lifeboat to be called to an area where the water is more shallow, such as responding to people who have been cut off by the tide, or in the case of this week’s episode of Saving Lives at Sea, a yacht run aground.

It is calls like these that are extremely time critical and will be served effectively by the new ILB.

‘Joining the crew has given me more confidence in my abilities. In the beginning I had no idea what the role entailed, but four years later, I’ve completed my crew plan and am now training to be a mechanic on the boat, something I never thought would be possible before.’

There is no prerequisite for maritime or coastal experience to apply for the role of RNLI crew. Volunteers are provided world class training, regardless of their experience, attaining competency both on station and at RNLI College in Poole.

Danny sums it up: ‘Being part of something that can change people's lives gives me an incredible feeling. Becoming volunteer crew is one of the best things I have ever done. The lifeboat is like an extra family and everyone supports each other, which makes us better.’

If you live or work within 8-minutes of Newhaven Lifeboat station and have the flexibility to be on call for lifeboat ‘shouts’ and attend regular training exercises, you can have the satisfaction of giving back, by being part of this dedicated team.

Notes for the editor
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or [email protected] or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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RNLI online
For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.
Danny Woodford: growing up in Newhaven I spent most of my spare time at the sandy beach or fishing off the arm. I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors, kayaking, windsurfing and cycling.

RNLI/Rosalind Ashton

Yacht Mayday duty crew: Danny Woodford, Alex Beckett, Lewis Arnold, Andy Bull, Nick Gentry

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.