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Saturday 14 October 2023

"Saving Lives at Sea" WWII Special: A Tribute to RNLI Heroes of the Past

In a poignant tribute to the 2024 bicentenary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), acclaimed presenter Dermot O'Leary is set to unravel the untold tales of valiant RNLI crews during World War II in a special episode of "Saving Lives at Sea." This extraordinary episode, commissioned for BBC Two and iPlayer, aims to shed light on the RNLI's courageous efforts that saved a remarkable 6,376 lives during the war's darkest days.

A History Unveiled
Never before in its 200-year history has the RNLI faced a challenge as monumental as the perils of World War II. In this special, Dermot O'Leary will delve into the war's iconic and surprising stories, rekindling the spirit of bravery that defined the RNLI's dedicated lifeboat crews. From perilous rescues to navigating treacherous waters, the heroes of the RNLI showcased extraordinary courage and resilience in the face of unimaginable danger.

Dermot's Personal Connection
A long-time admirer and supporter of the RNLI, Dermot O'Leary's personal connection to the sea and the RNLI fuels his passion for this historic exploration. Hailing from the east coast of England, Dermot spent much of his childhood near the sea, making the RNLI a reassuring presence throughout his youth. Now, as an ambassador for over 20 years, Dermot embarks on a journey to pay homage to these unsung heroes and unravel a lesser-known chapter of history.

Unveiling Untold Stories
Dermot O'Leary will traverse key wartime coastal locations, setting sail on the open sea to immerse himself in this crucial period of the RNLI's history. From the Dunkirk evacuation to the Battle of Britain, he will uncover powerful first-hand testimonies from descendants of wartime crew members and glean untold stories from local historians. These remarkable feats and the heroes behind them will be brought to life, allowing viewers to appreciate the pivotal role the RNLI played in the war effort.

A Special Tribute
Clare Sillery, BBC Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, expressed her excitement about Dermot's exploration of these extraordinary characters and their vital role in history. "Saving Lives at Sea" has captivated audiences, and this special promises to add a unique dimension to this popular brand, providing a heartfelt tribute to the RNLI's indomitable spirit during World War II.

As the special, tentatively titled "Saving Lives at Sea WWII Special," unfolds, viewers can anticipate an enlightening and touching journey through time, honoring the brave souls who risked their lives to save others amidst the chaos of World War II.

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