Brighton lifeboat crew to feature in TV documentary

Posted On 11 Jul 2011 at 4:40 pm

The crew of the RNLI Brighton lifeboat is being filmed during rescues at sea.

The footage is being shot using a headcam as the charity’s volunteers help sailors and swimmers in trouble in the inshore waters off Brighton and Hove.

Helmsman Mark Bell has been wearing the helmet-mounted camera this weekend.

His footage shows his crew helping a family of five in a motor cruiser after it ran into difficulty and two sailors who were unable to right their capsized catamaran.

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Footage from Brighton and other lifeboat stations around the country is being put together for a documentary series by ITV called Mayday.

The eight one-hour programmes are expected to be shown later this year.

The lifeboat crew went to the aid of the family in their 9m motor cruiser after it crashed into the eastern arm of Brighton Marina yesterday afternoon (Sunday 10 July).

The vessel had just left the marina but suffered engine problems within a few hundred yards of the marina entrance.

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A stiff breeze from the south west quickly starting pushing the motor boat towards the wall.

And the sea state, moderate with waves of 5ft to 7ft, took them side on to the waves making the children on board start to feel seasick.

The lifeboat crew had been training early in the day and some were still in the area so from the first 999 call to the lifeboat launching took just four minutes.

Once alongside the stricken vessel, a lifeboat crew member went aboard and attached a tow line.

The motor boat was damaged but not taking on water and was towed to a temporary berth in the marina.

A spokesman for the RNLI Brighton lifeboat crew said: “This was an extremely quick launch and, as the video footage illustrates, a very fast-paced rescue.

“The family of the cruiser were all a bit shaken by the ordeal.

“Two of those on board had started to feel seasick and I imagine this was a very frightening experience for them all.

“We’re clearly glad that all has ended well and our charity’s volunteers have been able to help again.

“They’ve had a busy weekend.”

To see the footage, click here.

A day earlier (Saturday 9 July) the lifeboat crew went to the aid of two members of Brighton Sailing Club between the piers.

They had been unable to right their 16ft catamaran after it capsized.

A crewman from a fellow club catamaran leapt into the water to join the pair on the stricken vessel but the strong wind and swell hampered their efforts.

The lifeboat crew tried to lift the masthead clear of the water but decided that the conditions at sea were putting the catamaran at risk of damage.

So they towed the vessel head to wind and within a few minutes the catamaran crew were able to right their vessel.

To see the footage, click here.

Mr Bell said: “The crew of both catamarans were clearly very experienced, in good spirits and comfortable in the conditions.

“However, as often happens, Mother Nature got the upper hand this time and a combination of the strong wind and heavy swell kept their sail pinned to the water.

“I’m glad we were able to help and wish them all well.”

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