Lifeboat crews battle pier blaze on screen

Firefighters tackle the pier blaze from the lifeboat: Pic courtesy of the RNLI
Firefighters tackle the pier blaze from the lifeboat: Pic courtesy of the RNLI

LIFEBOATMEN who helped firefighters tackle the devastating fire on Hastings pier will be telling their story of their role on TV next week.

Crew members from Hastings RNLI lifeboat station are appearing on Mayday Mayday, an ITV documentary which shines the spotlight on the brave volunteers who regularly give up their time for rescue missions.

The show gives viewers an armchair view of the often-terrible conditions at sea that crews have to face, using footage captured from onboard lifeboat cameras and helmet cameras to bring extraordinary rescue scenes from the sea to the sofa.

Last October’s fire on the pier will feature on the show, due to be aired on Tuesday (September 27).

Lifeboatmen were called out in the early hours of October 5 last year to take firefighters afloat so they could tackle the pier fire, which ultimately destroyed more than 90 per cent of the Victorian attraction.

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched to help transport specialist equipment to fight the fire and thermal imaging equipment to check for signs of life.

As well as featuring in the series for a lifeboat launch, a number of the links between rescue clips were also filmed at Hastings RNLI lifeboat station.

Eleanor Driscoll, head of the RNLI film and image unit, said: “The charity has, of course, featured on many different television programmes, most notably the long-running Seaside Rescue series.

“However, this is the first time a full series has been commissioned which concentrates solely on the lifesaving work of our volunteers.

“The increasing availability and affordability of technology has enabled us to fit lifeboat cameras onboard many of our lifeboats, along with some cameras mounted on helmets, to give a real close-up view of the action.

As well as showing our supporters exactly what their donations are helping us to do, and providing the RNLI with a valuable training resource, this footage allows us to show the general public what it is we do 24 hours a day, seven days a week – helping those in distress and saving lives at sea.”

The eight-part series is presented by Irish television and radio presenter Craig Doyle, known for his hosting of Holiday.

The Mayday Mayday episode featuring the Hastings RNLI lifeboat crew will be broadcast on ITV1 on Tuesday at 7.30pm.