RNLI Northern Ireland: BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea shows first hand account of rescue mission for kayaker

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​A new TV series will broadcast a front line experience of Larne RNLI searching for and rescuing a kayaker in a late night mission.

The volunteer lifeboat crew from Larne RNLI will feature in the new series of popular TV show Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two at 8pm next Thursday 12 October.

Featuring helmet and boat camera footage, viewers watch dramatic rescues through the eyes of RNLI lifesavers while meeting the people behind the pagers and those rescued by the charity’s lifesavers.

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This forthcoming episode includes Larne RNLI’s rescue of a kayaker alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around the coast.

Larne RNLI volunteer crew members Frank Healy, Sam Agnew and Jack Healy who feature in the forthing TV episode.Larne RNLI volunteer crew members Frank Healy, Sam Agnew and Jack Healy who feature in the forthing TV episode.
Larne RNLI volunteer crew members Frank Healy, Sam Agnew and Jack Healy who feature in the forthing TV episode.

Larne RNLI Helm Barry Kirkpatrick who was on the call out and will feature in the upcoming episode.

He said: "The call for help in this rescue comes late at night following reports of a person capsized from their kayak. After a search, we locate the casualty floating on his back in the middle of the bay, who is estimated to be in the water for up to one hour and very cold. We bring him onboard the lifeboat and make our way back to the beach as quickly as possible while beginning first aid to try and warm him up but we are concerned about signs of hypothermia. Once on shore, we are assisted by our colleagues in the Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

"In this rescue, the casualty's wife does the right thing by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard when she realises her husband is in difficulty in the water. The kayaker also does the right thing by floating on his back with his arms stretched out. He is floating to live.

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"This is the first time Larne RNLI features on the Saving Lives at Sea series and this rescue is a good example of where our volunteers’ training, skills and experience all come to the fore in helping bring a casualty to safety. It also highlights the great teamwork not just among our own volunteers but with our colleagues from the various emergency services.”

The popular 10-part documentary is now in its eighth series and includes the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around the UK and Republic of Ireland

The series is also available to watch on the BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

It will include interviews with lifeboat crews and lifeguards and also hear from the rescuees and their families who, thanks to RNLI lifesavers, are here to tell the tale.

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Larne RNLI also came to the aid of a swimmer who got into difficulty half a mile from Portmuck Harbour after 12.30pm on Wednesday this week. A member of the public called 999 after they observed two swimmers who were not making any progress against a force 4-5 south westerly wind. The crew quickly located the casualty half a mile from the harbour, who was cold but well and in good spirits. The second swimmer had managed to make his way safely back to shore.

The RNLI depends on voluntary donations and legacies to operate. Since 1824, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.

If you get inspired to volunteer with the RNLI by the series, there are a variety of roles from lifeboat crew, to fundraiser, lifeguard to shop volunteer. Fund out more at www.rnli.org/volunteer