Essex RNLI crews to star in BBC’s Saving Lives at Sea tonight with daring rescue

A sea rescue by crews from Walton and Frinton RNLI and Harwich RNLI will feature in tonight’s episode of the popular BBC show Saving Lives at Sea.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution relies on an army of unpaid volunteers to keep the public safe on the coast and at sea.

The TV series shares their stories including heart stopping footage from rescues, emotional interviews with the crews and survivors, as well as warnings from the families of those who sadly weren’t as lucky.

Dale Steggles has been volunteering with the Walton and Frinton RNLI for just over ten years and says many of the crew members have been there for more than 35 years.

The 31-year-old was one of the crew involved in the call from August 2019 which will be featured in tonight’s episode on BBC Two.

“There was a lot of wind that day, not the roughest I’ve ever seen but the conditions were unusual for that time of year,” he said.

“We were called pretty far out to sea, this wasn’t just off the beach it took about 45 minutes to get there.”

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An additional crew from Harwich RNLI was also called out to the incident off the Essex coast where a replica ship of one of Lord Nelson’s fleet, named HMS Pickle, had got into trouble.

The camera footage from helmets shows every moment of the rescue, including the difficult decisions crews have to make under incredible pressure.

Mr Steggles added: “I joined the RNLI because of my love for the sea, you want to give something back.

“Everyone at the station does become one big family because of the time you spend together, going out on calls to save lives it does bring you together.

“The TV series showcases the great work of the thousands of volunteers as well as the locals who help us on the coast.

“Last year we saved more than 9,000 people across the UK and without the support and donations from the public that isn’t possible.”

Crews from across the nation including Newcastle, Bristol and Devon have featured throughout the five seasons.

The tough situations deal with people of all ages, professions and abilities – often prompting a combination of laughter, tears and relief.

Episode four of Saving Lives at Sea airs at 8pm and can be watched on catch up on BBC iPlayer.

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