LYMINGTON RNLI is making waves on national television as rescuers feature in an episode of popular BBC2 series Saving Lives at Sea.
An extensive search for a missing kitesurfer in the Solent from March last year is being showcased in the penultimate instalment of the documentary which follows the operations of lifeboat crews across the country.
This is the first time Lymington’s crew has had a starring role, with long-standing volunteers Kevin Coster, Ben Bradley Watson and John Husband interviewed alongside footage of the search.
As reported in the A&T at the time, the town’s RNLI was alerted by HM Coastguard, along with counterparts from Cowes and Hamble, amid fears a kitesurfer had fallen in the Solent off Lymington.
A major search was launched just before 3.30pm on Sunday 8th March after rigging from a kitesurf was spotted in the water with no sign of its owner. It went on for several hours before the kitesurfer came forward to confirm they were unharmed.
Lymington and Needles coastguard rescue teams, and the Lee-on-Solent-based coast-guard search-and-rescue helicopter had also scoured the western Solent for several hours.
Following the incident, Kevin, who was helm, urged sea users to let the coastguard know they are safe and well if they lost any equipment in the water.
One of the rescue crew members also suggested people could put names and contact details on equipment to help identify the owners.
The Lymington team’s appearance in Saving Lives at Sea was welcomed by lifeboat operations manager Nick Hayward.
“The crew are all volunteers, and the station receives substantial support locally,” he said.
“The programme is a great platform for viewers to see behind the scenes at the station and speak to the crew via a livestream question-and-answer session.”
Kevin, Ben and John will be joining Nick for a Q&A on the RNLI Lymington Lifeboat Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LymingtonLifeboat for an hour after the programme’s broadcast at 8pm tonight (Thursday).
Viewers will also be able to catch the episode afterwards on BBC iPlayer, where it and the rest of the series will be available for more than a year.