Coastguard: Every Second Counts is a new behind-the-scenes documentary series set to air on Channel 5 starting at 9pm on Sundays from tomorrow (2 July).
According to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), the six episodes mark the first time it has opened up its operations to public scrutiny to such an extent, reflecting the range of its work from vessel safety inspections to dramatic rescues.
“We granted full and exclusive access to TV crews for 12 months to allow time to provide insight into the varied, complex and, at times, tragic work of the maritime regulator in the UK,” says the MCA.
The programme-makers were able to get into the heart of the action at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Fareham, Hampshire during active operations, and also to shadow the Coastguard’s Regulatory Compliance Investigations Team.
“We follow team-members as they go about their day-to-day tasks in investigating and bringing to trial individuals and companies in breach of maritime laws – the MCA has the power to bring a direct prosecution,” says the agency.
The first episode opens with the death of a boat’s crew-member as a result of “not following these stringent safety rules”, and also follows the team as they check vessel safety using aerial imagery from fixed-wing aircraft.
The Counter Pollution & Salvage team also makes use of these aircraft for environmental monitoring, and their work alongside a number of other agencies is featured in the series.
“This is a great opportunity to help us remind the public how to be safe along the coast and reassure everyone in the UK that when you call us, we will respond,” says MCA chief executive Virginia McVea.