A male coastguard rescue officer wearing blue overalls and a white hard hat stands in front of a coastguard rescue vehicle, looking directly at the camera.

Episode four

Series two, episode four

More action unfolds in episode four on Sunday 19 May at 8pm

In episode four of our dramatic documentary series, we experience behind the scenes as a HM Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre mastermind the search plan for a father who is missing after going bait digging.

This week we also see the breadth and variety of rescue scenarios HM Coastguard can be called out to, as teams are tasked to help inland to assist a rescue on Yr Wyddfa, also known as Mount Snowdon, as well as a man stuck halfway up a cliff in Cornwall.

The view of the cliffs of Holywell Bay and a person being winched into the air


The tide is coming in towards a climber stuck on a cliff at Newquay, Cornwall. This week we watch as coastguard rescue officers and the HM Coastguard helicopter work together to solve the puzzle of how to get him to safety.

Climber Will said: “I realised I was stuck – I was unable to feel or see a strong enough foothold for me to lower myself down off the rock.

“If I had realised I would have to be rescued and I was going to be stuck, I would not have done it. The coastguard teams – I am thankful for what you did that day.”

Top safety tips

• Stay well back from cliff edges – they can crumble and be exposed to strong winds.

• Take note of warning signs and stick to signposted coastal paths.

• Be extra careful in the dark and if paths are slippery.

• Take a fully charged mobile phone with you.

• Never climb a cliff as a shortcut to the top.

• If you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. 

'Someone has gone home to their loved ones’

A family is worried that their dad hasn’t come back from a trip to the beach to collect bait. A search is launched and, thankfully, the missing man is found safe and well. 


A female maritime operations officer wearing a headset. Text reads 'Sarah King, Maritime Operations Officer, HMCG'


Maritime Operations Officer Sarah King said: “People never waste our time. We would always rather be called to nothing than we were not called to something.

"We’re a great team. Knowing you have all contributed to help, knowing that you have all pulled together.  

“When you get the outcome that you’re looking for – someone has gone home to their loved ones at the end of the day – that’s the best feeling ever.”

Sunset over waves

Reduce the risks:

  • Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back –they can raise the alarm if you do not return on time  
  • Check the weather and tides before setting out
  • Take a mobile phone and ensure it has plenty of battery
  • Make sure you always have an exit route
  • If you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard 

Make a difference

Find out more about vacancies at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency or becoming a volunteer coastguard rescue officer.

Coastguard airs on Sundays at 8pm on Channel 5. Find out more about each episode so far.

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