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-Anglesey's Moelfre lifeboat is one
-of the most famous in Britain.
-The island's north coast
-is very hazardous.
-It can be dangerous here.
-If a strong wind
-blows from the north...
-..the sea gets very rough
-between here and Point Lynas.
-There's a strong tide there,
-for one thing.
-When the wind blows against
-the tide, it creates a heavy swell.
-A new boat has arrived today.
-It's an inshore boat.
-A woman from Colchester,
-Mrs Claydon, paid for it.
-It cost 12,000.
-These are useful boats. You can
-take them into shallow waters.
-If someone falls on the rocks...
-..you can take this boat
-close to the shore.
-Many visitors come here to sail
-in the summer.
-Sometimes, it's quite windy and
-their engines are not up to scratch.
-They break down out in the bay.
-They're then at the mercy
-of the wind and the tide.
-This boat is called 'Kingsand'.
-That name was chosen
-by the woman who bought it for us.
-The name sounds good in Welsh too.
-It's a fine name.
-The big lifeboat
-answers the more serious calls.
-Tales of the bravery of past Moelfre
-crews have spread far and wide.
-How aware of that tradition
-is the present crew?
-Tradition is very important.
-My great-uncle, Richard Evans,
-was a coxswain here for 40 years.
-When you're a boy, you look forward
-to being old enough to help...
-..not necessarily on the boat
-but helping to get the boat out...
-..and back in again safely.
-Today, lifeboat crew members
-need specialist skills.
-This mobile unit visits lifeboat
-stations to provide training.
-can gain experience...
-..in using a modern
-satellite navigation system.
-This unit enables crew members...
-..to become familiar
-with using these new systems.
-They did use charts,
-a pencil and rules.
-Now, they use
-these state-of-the art computers.
-They've been specially developed
-for use by sailors.
-There's the GPS,
-the plotter and the radar.
-Crews can learn
-how to use them here...
-..rather than on a shifting boat,
-which can be difficult.
-Then they know how to use them
-when a call comes.
-This laser plotter
-comes from the Netherlands.
-That cross represents the lifeboat.
-As you move around the bay -
-we're going towards Liverpool...
-..the chart changes
-as you move along.
-On we go and up the River Mersey.
-As the lifeboat moves up the river,
-the picture enlarges.
-This is the enlarged chart
-of the marina and the dock.
-The system can pinpoint
-where you are at any time.
-It can also take the tide
-and the wind into account.
-The machines work it all out.
-They must apply their new skills in
-the confined space of the lifeboat.
-It's more difficult,
-as the boat rolls over the waves.
-The RNLI uses seven different types
-of large lifeboat.
-The fastest is the Tyne,
-which is housed above a slipway.
-It's the same type
-as the Porthdinllaen lifeboat.
-It requires a crew of six.
-The Tyne has been in use
-for 18 years.
-They're regarded as efficient and
-can attain a speed of 18 knots.
-They're equipped with
-state-of-the-art navigation tools.
-didn't work as it should...
-..so it's important we carry on
-using the charts and a pencil.
-It provides a back-up.
-Christmas Eve is a big day
-The 'Good Shepherd', which is on
-loan, sets out for the last time.
-The 'Hetty Rampton',
-their usual boat, is coming home.
-They must sail to Holyhead
-to fetch her.
-Many lifeboats from the north
-of England and north Wales...
-..come to Holyhead to be repaired.
-The 'Hetty Rampton'
-has had a complete overhaul.
-The inspectors are satisfied she's
-ready to return to Porthdinllaen.
-She's been fitted with new engines
-and the latest technology.
-is number 15.
-As it happens, number 14
-is coming in for repairs.
-She's from Barrow-in-Furness,
-a whole day's journey away.
-She shows signs of wear
-and needs repainting.
-A large part of the RNLI's budget
-is spent on renovating lifeboats.
-Maintaining the service
-costs nearly 80 million per year.
-Every time a lifeboat
-it costs 5,000.
-The 'Good Shepherd' was our temporary
-replacement for the 'Hetty Rampton'.
-She now has new engines...
-..and new equipment including
-a satellite navigation system.
-The laser plotter
-is another new gadget.
-Charts for the whole country
-are stored on CD ROM.
-She's now in tip-top condition for
-her next ten years at this station.
-Lifeboat crew members
-Peter, the coxswain and mechanic,
-is the only full-time employee.
-The others receive very little
-remuneration for their services.
-But the crew members
-are always in good spirits.
-The Porthdinllaen lifeboat is called
-out 20 times a year, on average.
-They are expected to cope with
-an emergency on the Irish ferry.
-But most calls are minor ones
-involving pleasure craft.
-They are required to train
-for major emergencies.
-The crew occasionally attend courses
-at the RNLI headquarters in Poole.
-We have regular training.
-We learn first aid...
-..we also learn
-how to use these new gadgets...
-..the wireless, the radar
-and so on.
-We attend some courses
-at the headquarters in Poole.
-The crew's video.
-The crew's video.
-A local fishing boat
-is having engine trouble.
-Although the weather is fine, the
-tide could drive her on to rocks.
-This seems to be a routine call.
-There are fewer call-outs
-to pleasure boats...
-become more safety-conscious.
-Well-equipped merchant ships rarely
-get into difficulties these days.
-Today, they simply had to tow
-the 'Buccaneer' to shore...
-..because she had started
-drifting towards rocks.
-Most of us have romantic images
-of brave lifeboat crews...
-..risking their lives
-in the teeth of a gale.
-Such occurrences are very rare.
-Lifeboats are seldom called out
-Fewer than 4% of calls
-occur in rough weather.
-Only one call in six
-involves saving lives.
-Most calls are for boats needing
-assistance to reach the shore...
-..without any lives being at risk.
-One of these fishermen is actually
-a member of the lifeboat crew.
-But there won't be much leg-pulling.
-who'll be in trouble tomorrow?
-When people are at the mercy of the
-sea's vagaries, anything can happen.
-The sea has an obvious
-..on the communities
-of Porthdinllaen and nearby Nefyn.
-It has affected
-both work and culture.
-This rich tradition, with its
-history, tales and shanties...
-..is a central part of these
-children's local history studies.
-'The class went to Porthdinllaen
-'We walked along the path
-above Nefyn beach.
-'Mr Williams showed us where
-the last boat was built at Nefyn.'
-'We arrived at the boathouse
-at 1.00pm, where we met Tom Morris.'
-Come down these steps
-and sit on the sand.
-to the Morfa Nefyn lifeboat...
-..or rather, Porthdinllaen.
-150 years ago, this little bay
-was called 'Bae Carreg yr Afr'.
-It's a lovely place
-on a fine summer's day.
-150 years ago...
-..there would have been over 20
-sailing ships anchored in the bay.
-A lot of trading ships
-travelled around the Lleyn coast...
-..carrying goods and farm produce
-to places like Liverpool and Dublin.
-Many of these little ships
-got into trouble in bad weather.
-I'll tell you about one night
-in particular, December 2nd, 1863.
-The sea became very rough as
-a northerly gale blew across the bay.
-Over two dozen small ships
-were sheltering in the bay.
-The wind blew them...
-The wind blew them...
-'One night, a huge storm blew up.
-'Many ships were sheltering in the
-bay when the wind changed direction'
-'It blew towards Porthdinllaen.
-The ships were in danger.'
-'Ships were blown
-against each other.'
-'The ships were in trouble.
-Waves crashed and the wind roared.'
-'Some ships tore free from their
-moorings and were broken up.'
-'Many ships were wrecked...
-..as captains tried to sail
-to the other side of the headland.'
-The waves forced them
-towards the shore.
-Local people were unable to help
-as the sailors clung to their masts.
-'A man called Robert Rees
-tied a rope around himself.
-'Four strong men held the rope
-as he entered the water.'
-'He swam into the waves
-and saved the lives of 28 men.'
-Robert was awarded a bronze medal by
-the Board of Trade for his actions.
-Engraved on the edge of the medal...
-..is 'Robert Rees. Wreck
-of the Bardsey of Caernarfon'.
-The 'Bardsey' was the name of one
-of the ships whose crew he saved.
-The new Porthdinllaen lifeboat.
-'Dinllaen' is an old name
-for this part of Lleyn...
-..so this is 'the Port of Dinllaen'.
-If you look at the boat, you can see
-that everything folds down on it.
-It can't enter the boathouse
-unless everything is folded down.
-When the weather is rough,
-the crew stay in the cabin.
-There are six seats,
-one for each crew member.
-They're strapped in as if they were
-in a plane and they wear helmets.
-That's because they can be thrown
-about when the sea is rough.
-often have to stand out here.
-They wear lifejackets
-which have clips on the back.
-They clip themselves to this wire...
-..which keeps them safe but also
-allows them to move around.
-That's the purpose of this wire.
-It goes all the way around the boat.
-Children are encouraged
-to take an interest.
-It's been part of the RNLI's policy
-The port of Fishguard
-has benefited from this.
-There used to be an Arran class
-lifeboat at Fishguard...
-..larger and faster
-than the one at Porthdinllaen.
-Then they had an even better
-Trent class boat on loan.
-It suited their work, so one was
-stationed here on a permanent basis.
-The TV programme 'Blue Peter'
-raised the money to pay for it.
-It's one of the best boats in Wales.
-The RNLI are proud of it
-and the name acknowledges the gift.
-She's fitted with
-all the most modern equipment...
-..everything you could think of.
-We may be called out
-to a boat 40 miles away.
-If we can pick up just one sounding
-from the vessel...
-..we can go straight to it. If we
-closed our eyes, we'd run over it!
-It's so accurate.
-In my day,
-you were given directions...
-..that weren't always accurate.
-Sometimes, the people in trouble
-weren't quite sure where they were.
-So we'd have to search
-for the vessel...
-..using a procedure we call
-a search pattern or box pattern.
-It could take hours.
-When I started, the boat
-at this station was an open boat.
-The cabin was tiny. When the sea was
-rough, we'd all be squashed in...
-..like sheep in a pen,
-trying to shelter from the sea.
-The boat didn't move over the waves.
-It would cut into them.
-So we were under water
-a lot of the time.
-We got wet
-as soon as we left the harbour.
-all the boats are closed in.
-The cabins on today's boats
-increase the boat's buoyancy.
-If the boat capsizes...
-..the cabin's buoyancy
-will turn the boat back up.
-Here's the proof. Before
-she was sent to Fishguard...
-..'Blue Peter VII'
-had to undergo the ultimate test.
-have to pass this test.
-There are now over 150
-women crew members.
-The first in Wales was in Fishguard.
-Angela has been fully accepted
-as a crew member.
-The kind of technology we saw
-at Fishguard didn't exist...
-..when the Moelfre lifeboat saved
-the crews of two merchant vessels.
-On two occasions...
-..Dick Ifans received
-the RNLI's ultimate accolade.
-The first was in 1959...
-..when eight members
-of the 'Hindlea' crew were saved.
-A storm had driven her on to rocks.
-The Moelfre crew's bravery
-inspired the public.
-They had risked their lives
-on the stormy sea...
-..to save the 'Hindlea' crew.
-Dick Ifans became a symbol
-of RNLI heroism.
-He received world-wide attention.
-This incident is still
-one of the great lifeboat legends.
-With today's technology, the work
-of locating any ship in distress...
-..is much easier but it doesn't
-make it any less perilous.
-The first boat I went on
-did about nine knots.
-Today, they can practically do
-We got this boat
-two or three years ago.
-There used to be helicopters
-stationed at Brawdy.
-decided to close RAF Brawdy.
-There was a great outcry
-against losing the helicopters.
-The RNLI and the Government...
-..decided to station
-a much faster boat at Fishguard...
-..so we could perform
-far quicker rescues.
-That's why we have this boat
-Fishguard lifeboat boathouse,
-do you read, over?
-I remember going out on one call,
-it was very rough.
-The cargo had shifted to one side,
-which caused the ship to break down.
-about fifteen miles out from here.
-It's very sad, seeing a ship sink.
-We saved all the crew...
-..but it was very sad, watching
-a ship sinking in front of us.
-Nia Melville, Elidir