Castletownbere and Kinsale lifeboats to feature on new BBC documentary series Saving Lives at Sea
dramatic sea rescues off Kinsale are to feature in a new television series about the RNLI.
One of the rescues included the 2013 grounding of a sail trailing tall ship which consisted of 24 trainees among a crew of 30 after the dual masted Astrid ran into difficulties near the entrance to Kinsale Harbour.
The new BBC series, which commences tomorrow night, also shows the real-life rescue of three fishermen from a sinking trawler off Kinsale.
The voluntary lifeboat crews of Kinsale and Castletownbere are among four Irish lifeboat stations in the new documentary to be shown on Wednesday evenings on BBC2.
The series Saving Lives at
Sea also features lifeboat rescues by stations from Skerries in Co Dublin and Bangor in Co Down. The documentary makers said the 12-part series will provide a unique insight into the lives of the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew members throughout Ireland and Britain.
Episode one of the BBC2 documentary focuses on two of the Kinsale lifeboat incidents while the Castletownbere crew are in the limelight in episode three.
In the Castletownbere episode, the crew respond to a lone sailor battling storm conditions and also the rescue of two fishermen from a boat that sinks.
Meanwhile, with an average of 24 call-outs daily, volunteer crews from the RNLI’s 230 stations rescue thousands of people day and night around the coast of Britain and Ireland.
In Ireland alone last year, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 1,136 times rescuing 1,649 people.
Although all rescues are perilous, it was reported at least a minimum of 35 lives were saved in near-death situations.
Commencing at 8pm on Wednesday nights, the hourlong programmes feature reallife rescue footage accompanied by heartwarming and emotive testimonials from the crew and the people they rescue.
The series has mainly been filmed over the past year.
It was made for the BBC by Blast! Films and involved lifeboat crews using RNLI and special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their
Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited.
The RNLI is a registered charity, independent of the Coastguard services and does not receive funding from any of the Irish or British governments.
Saving Lives at Sea will be broadcast weekly from tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 16, until November 1 on BBC Two at 8pm.
Meanwhile, the huge rescue effort involving the tall ship
Astrid led to all 30 people aboard being taken to safety.
A total of 18 had been rescued by the RNLI and the remainder by another tall ship.
Four RNLI lifeboats and two Irish Coast Guard helicopters had been tasked.
The rescue itself was filmed mainly by the Irish Coast Guard. The grounding oc- curred at Quay Rock at Ballymacus Point, near the Sovereign Islands on the approach to Kinsdale Harbour.
The near-140ft dual-masted had ran aground around midday on July 24, 2013, and subsequently sank.
She was salvaged on September 9 but, as the cost of restoring her was too high, she was scrapped and broken up by April 2014.
The ship had been anchored in Oysterhaven and kits crew consisted of the master, three permanent crew members, a cook, a mentor and 24 trainees aged from 15-24.
Eight of the trainees were from Ireland, four from the Netherlands, three from the UK, six from France, two from Belgium and one from Spain.
She had been one of 50 vessels participating in Ireland’s 2013 Gathering Cruise between Oysterhaven and Kinsale. At 11.35am, her sails were being raised while the engine was still in use and the ship was sailing towards the south-west at around 3 knots. At around 11.40am, the engine failed and, near midday, she ran aground.
Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) had rated the type of incident as a “very serious marine casualty”.
The NCIB’s full report in February 2015 found the main cause of the incident was the ship had not been operated safely in compliance with international conventions.
It determined the direct cause of the ship’s grounding was due to engine failure as a result of fresh water contamination of the engine’s fuel which occurred by human error when the water was taken on board in Brighton on July 12, 2013.
The MCIB concluded there had been a “catalogue of failures and breaches of international regulations”.
Castletownbere RNLI will feature in the new BBC documentary series Saving Lives at Sea.
Kinsale’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat Miss Sally Ann.