Peterhead RNLI crew to feature in new series of popular TV documentary

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Peterhead RNLI will be taking to the small screen this evening (Tuesday, September 7) as they feature in the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

By Kevin Mcroberts
Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 8:39 am
The rescue featuring in the TV series was Pat Davidson's first as coxswain. (Photo: Craig Meheut)
The rescue featuring in the TV series was Pat Davidson's first as coxswain. (Photo: Craig Meheut)

Now in its sixth season, the documentary series, which showcases the lifesaving work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), will be aired on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8pm, as well as being available on the BBC iPlayer following broadcast. The new 10-part series features real rescues carried out by the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards around the UK and Ireland – including Peterhead RNLI.

Each programme gives a unique insight into the lives and work of the charity’s lifesavers who are needed more than ever before, rescuing thousands of people and saving hundreds of lives around our coastline and on inland waterways every year. The new series features more dramatic real-life rescue footage, accompanied by emotive testimonials from the volunteer crews, lifeguards and the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 7 September, sees Peterhead RNLI launch in treacherous conditions to rescue a 160 tonne fishing vessel which was seconds away from crashing into the rocks at Peterhead Breakwater.

The Peterhead RNLI lifeboat crew had to deal with treacherous conditions to save the fishing boat and the lives of the five people on board. (Photo: Peterhead RNLI)

Pat Davidson, coxswain aboard the Peterhead lifeboat during the rescue, said: ‘It’s great to see the work we do on TV like this. We’re always grateful for the support we get from the public as we rely on donations to do what we do, so it great that all our supporters now get to see, from the comfort and safety of their own front rooms, exactly how they help us save lives.’

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life. Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

The rescue featuring the Peterhead crew took place in Febuary this year, and was carried out in treacherous conditions, with the 160 tonne fishing vessel just seconds away from crashing into the rocks at Peterhead Breakwater.

It was Pat Davidson’s first shout as coxswain. Tasked by HM Coastguard, the volunteer crew rushed to the station, launched the Tamar-class lifeboat The Misses Robertson of Kintail and was on scene in minutes.

The fishing boat lost power and was at the mercy of the stormy conditions. (Photo: Peterhead RNLI)

The vessel was dangerously close to Peterhead South Breakwater and the conditions were extremely challenging when the lifeboat arrived.

However, the crew established a tow at the first attempt and brought the fishing vessel and its crew back to safety, saving the five lives onboard.

Speaking shortly after the rescue, Patrick said: “This was a really tremendous effort by the crew showing great teamwork and seamanship by all involved in really difficult conditions. If we had arrived seconds later the boat would have hit the rocks and it may have been a different outcome.

“As soon as I saw how close she was to the rocks I immediately requested the helicopter – due to the perilous situation I realised we only had one attempt to get this right.

“The crew and the skipper of the boat could not thank the lifeboat enough and said they’d be forever grateful which makes all the effort worthwhile.”