Coastguard: Every Second Counts is a new documentary series taking viewers behind the scenes of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for the first-time ever.
The new series will air from Sunday 2 July at 9pm on Channel 5, and will offer viewers the chance to see the wide breadth of work covered by the agency – from the surveyors who check the safety of vessels to the nail-biting rescues HM Coastguard carry out, viewers will see that safety always underpins the work across the agency.
The MCA 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.
It will bring to life stories of dramatic rescues from across the UK, by using footage captured from the air – and speaking to the helicopter crews who saw it from above. Documentary makers were also able to capture action at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Fareham, Hampshire, to show the vital work of coastguards during a rescue. First person recollections help to place the viewer in the midst of the rescue, while also demonstrating the expertise of the teams.
Viewers will meet members of the Regulatory Compliance Investigations Team (RCIT), who are responsible for investigating and prosecuting unsafe practices at seas. The series will 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. The first episode opens with the tragic consequences of not following these stringent safety rules, to the loss of life of a boat’s crew member.
The programme will also follow the team as they engage in safety checks, using imagery from fixed wing aeroplanes to ensure that vessels are operating in a safe manner while navigating through British waters.
Viewers will also see the work of the Counter Pollution and Salvage team, whose work to identify, coordinate and respond to maritime environmental concerns requires strong working partnerships with a number of agencies. Cameras follow the fixed wing aircraft as they monitor the seas for any signs of pollution.
Sea pollution can damage the fragile eco-system of a marine environment and the MCA team work hard to minimise any impact.
Virginia McVea, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “The MCA exists to save lives and every member of our team is focused on that each day when they come to work all across the UK. That’s a special job.
“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.”