A CHRISTMAS Day callout for Rhyl’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) crew, which resulted in the discovery of a “yuletide log” was shown in a BBC documentary on Thursday (November 16).

Saving Lives at Sea, on BBC Two, showed how three members of Rhyl’s RNLI crew went out to sea on a “cold and crisp festive afternoon”.

Now in its eight series, the programme documents the lives of the men and women of the RNLI.


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Thursday’s episode, entitled “24-7”, focused partly on Rhyl, and its RNLI station, which opened in 2001 and is the busiest in North Wales, with more than 50 callouts last year.

On December 25, 2022, crew members Colin, Jacob and Dougie arrived at the station, some still dressed in their Christmas jumpers, after receiving a report that a person had been spotted in the water in Abergele.

The D-class inshore lifeboat prepared and launched in fewer than seven minutes, with conditions calm, but the sea temperature at that time of year approximately just nine degrees.

As they got closer, they realised there was “no movement”, and what was initially thought to be a person waving for help was, in fact, a four metre-long log.

Dougie said: “For it to turn out that it was just a tree stump, we just looked at each other and laughed, a bit in disbelief, really.”

Colin added: “The way the log was sat in the swell gave it a really odd movement, so it really did mimic someone swimming at the time.”

The log was brought back in to shore, to deter further calls about it or to prevent it from damaging other vessels.

After given the boat a clean back at the boathouse, the crew members headed back home to continue celebrating Christmas.

Colin said: “Whether it’s Christmas Day or any other day of the year, we’re quite happy to go out and do our service. That’s what we’re there for.”

You can watch Saving Lives at Sea on Thursday evenings at 8pm on BBC Two, or on iPlayer.

Last month, “Blast! Films”, the company behind the programme’s production, returned to Rhyl to film Saving Lives at Sea once again, which may make part of an episode in its ninth series next year.

Filming on that occasion concerned the crew's night-time rescue of a yacht, a spokesperson for Blast! Films told the Journal.

Previous episodes in series eight of Saving Lives at Sea episode have included focuses on rescue operations led by the RNLI crews in Conwy and Llandudno.