Swanage RNLI crew feature in new TV series of Saving Lives at Sea

With real life rescue footage captured on their helmet cameras, the Swanage Lifeboat crew are featured in tonight’s first episode of the popular BBC TV programme, Saving Lives at Sea.

Now in its fifth series, the 10-part documentary shows the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around the UK and Ireland.

Swanage volunteer lifeboat crew risk their own lives

In the opening episode, broadcast on Thursday 17th September 2020 at 8 pm on BBC Two, viewers are given a frontline view of how the Swanage volunteer lifeboat crew risk their own lives to go to two separate incidents.

The first shows the crew rescuing paddleboarders swept out to sea and the second incident, sees the team launch the inshore lifeboat to save two ramblers cut off by the tide and stranded on Old Harry Rocks.

Gavin Steeden
RNLI/Nathan WIlliams

Swanage Lifeboat Station deputy coxswain, Gavin Steeden

Behind the scenes

The documentary also goes behind the scenes to speak to the crew members and the people they save.

Deputy coxswain, Gavin Steeden who features in the first episode, said:

‘It’s great that we can showcase what the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers do in a TV programme like this. In recent months, the pandemic has presented us, as lifesavers with 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.”

Lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland

During 2019, the RNLI says that its lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland rescued 9,412 people, saving 211 lives, while the charity’s lifeguards aided 32,207 people and saved 118 lives on some of the UK’s busiest beaches.

The first episode of Saving Lives at Sea is on Thursday 17th September 2020 at 8 pm on BBC Two and the series continues throughout October and November. The episodes are also available on BBC iPlayer.

Watch a sneak preview

This is a snippet of footage from one of the Swanage crew’s rescues featured in the first episode of the new series, Saving Lives at Sea.

Swanage Lifeboat Station

Further information

  • The Swanage Lifeboat Station files a report on all the rescues that it attends and publishes them on its website.
  • To make a donation go to the RNLI website.

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