Maritime and Coastguard Agency documentary ready to return to TV screens

Maritime and Coastguard Agency documentary ready to return to TV screens

The wait is nearly over for fans of the hit Channel 5 documentary Coastguard: Search and Rescue SOS as the brand-new second series is primed to air at 8pm on Sunday 28 April.
A Coastguard Rescue Officer rope technician carefully goes down over a cliff edge, attached to a rope

The first outing in 2023 attracted more than 5 million viewers. Now the show is returning for another eagerly anticipated run of real-life stories about the people working for the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the public who find themselves in danger by the coast and at sea.  

The series of six weekly episodes will feature round-the-clock emergency response operations by HM Coastguard, with cameras capturing staff from maritime rescue coordination centres, coastguard rescue teams, and search and rescue helicopters – always on alert to respond to people in need of help. 

Winch Paramedic Chris Bradshaw inside an HM Coastguard helicopter
Chris Bradshaw, Winch Paramedic 

The spotlight also shines on other important work of the MCA such as the surveyors and investigators who carry out their own lifesaving duties, ensuring ships are safe to sail and upholding the rules to protect seafarers, passengers and UK waters. 

In one episode the father of a young passenger killed in a speed boat crash in Poole harbour tells of his family’s loss. Cameras follow MCA investigators working with Dorset Police on the case which ultimately ends up in court. 

Stephanie George, Team Leader at Holyhead Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, sits at a desk with computer screens
Stephanie George, Team Leader at Holyhead Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre

Viewers will see dramatic rescues such as an 85-year-old woman cut off by the tide in Wales; two people swept into a sea cave in Cornwall; and how HM Coastguard joined the response to Storm Babet as it lashed Scotland.  

Decisions are also made by the MCA surveyors – the behind-the-scenes lifesavers – about whether the vessels they inspect are safe to leave port or must be detained for the welfare of seafarers. 

Chris Bates, a Surveyor, stands on the dock with a large vessel in the background
Chris Bates, Surveyor

MCA Chief executive Virginia McVea said: “We’re very grateful to the volunteers and staff of the MCA who took part in filming this incredibly engaging and eye-opening programme – and for the members of the public who told their stories too.  

“The series gives a behind the scenes look at what we do at the MCA, day in day out, to keep people safe – whether on the search and rescue frontline with HM Coastguard, or with our surveyors and investigators working hard to enforce safety standards. 

“We are proud to be one of the UK’s four emergency services. I hope viewers gain a deeper insight into what we do and how they can stay safe. Remember, if you’re in trouble by the coast or at sea call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.” 

Interested in joining the Maritime and Coastguard Agency?  

Check out the jobs here or apply to become an HM Coastguard volunteer here. 

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