Bitter Experience Tv Filming
Many will have heared by now of our dramas this morning off the Kent coast when we ended up needing a bit of help from the brave boys of the lifeboat. Following detailed risk assessments and tidal flow predictions we dropped a film team off on the Goodwin Sands to do their thing. We identified a safe recovery time for their extraction and added a fudge/safety factor but despite crew and coswain protestations the TV company we were contracted to provide a boat for refused to pack up and a 10 minute delay resulted in a swamping leading to massive boat damage and an MAIB report!!! Exonerated by both coasties and third party passengers (the local cricket team who were the subjects of the filming) the following points come to mind that might help others:
1. Stick to the plan and don't be swayed by overly enthusiatic TV directors who "just want to do 2 more pieces to camera".
2. Make sure your gear is 100%. Ours was and we needed most of it even going as far as preparing the liferaft for deployment with jobs dedicated to individuals. (Didn't need it in the end though!!!)
3. Keep bloody calm. When it is all going Pete Tong, a flapping skipper never helped anybody. ( Ours deserves a medal for neing cooler than a very cool thing straight from the fridge)
4. Keep evryone informed of what is happening. (Life boat ETA etc. Let them hear the radio traffic so they know help is coming
5. Rehearse with your contract party emergency procedures without scaring them, before you set sail.
6. On return, be proactive in ensuring true story is heared by as many as possible. By the time we got in the story had gone from a sunny day swamping leading to too much weight and resulting in engine submersion, had become near death event involving RIBs turning turtle, people being swept off in ripe currents and mass hysteria!!!
7. Finally (and a little tongue in cheek). Make sure your fags stay dry. The telephone calls immediately following return to shore from MAIB, MCA, POLICE, local papers etc will see 20 silkies going in about 5 minutes!!!
PS Thanks to the Ramsgate RNLI ILB and all weather boat. Very professional as ever. Hope you enjoyed the Stella!
PBI & Safety Boat Instructor,
Boatmaster & Owner
Tel: 01229 582811
Mob 07771 508610