By Dan Walsh
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews from Kilmore Quay, Rosslare Harbour and Dunmore East will feature in the popular BBC 2 television series Saving Lives at Sea on Tuesday, October 12th.
Real life rescue footage gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save everyone.
Now in its sixth series, the 10-part documentary highlights the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK. The series is on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8pm as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.
Real rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews alongside the people they rescue and their families.
Next Tuesday’s episode shows Kilmore Quay, Rosslare Harbour and Dunmore East RNLI, along with Rescue 117, conduct a joint rescue operation off the Wexford coast.
The Lily, a 100-metre general cargo vessel with nine crew onboard and carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal on board and destined for New Ross, lost all power two nautical miles from Hook Head last October. Conditions on scene were Force 8 with severe Force 9 gusts and wave heights between eight and ten metres. The Lily was drifting and in danger of striking rocks on Hook Head or capsizing in the heavy seas.
The 12-hour service in challenging conditions saw multiple attempts by the lifeboat crews involved to establish a tow between the casualty vessel and the lifeboats. With the crew of the Lily B unable to stay on deck for long in the poor conditions and with language difficulties, two of the lifeboats were eventually successful in passing a rope on deck by using a rocket line and pulling the cargo vessel clear of the rocks. The lifeboat tow was maintained for three hours with waves continually crashing over the decks until the tug vessel Tramontine from Waterford Port arrived on scene and assumed the tow. The three lifeboats stayed with the Lily B until they reached the safety of the Waterford Estuary. The rescue operation was stood down after 12 hours at sea for the lifeboat crews.
The three lifeboat crews involved are now to receive gallantry awards from the RNLI for their role in the rescue.