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RESCUE 117: RTE1 20.30 Tuesday

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  • RESCUE 117: RTE1 20.30 Tuesday

    For the first time ever RTÉ cameras have been given exclusive access to the Irish Coast Guard's helicopter Search and Rescue service. Filmed over six months, RTÉ cameras follow the rescue crews at Waterford helicopter base (RESCUE 117) as they battle to save lives in one of the most hostile environments in the world. Leading some of the most dramatic rescues ever caught on film is chief pilot Dara Fitzpatrick who is one of only a handful of female civilian rescue pilots in the world.

    Highlights from the series include exclusive footage of a plane crash off Tusker Rock, the dramatic rescue of three RNLI volunteers, the dash to save a baby's life and the vivid rescue of a woman stranded by incoming tides.

    In a first for Irish television we see 18 different rescues, in operations ranging from airlifts from ships on the high seas, to mountain rescues, and medical evacuations, and we capture Dara and her crew's battle to save lives in graphic detail.

    Dara Fitzpatrick has over 20 years flying experience. She is chief pilot in Waterford since 2002. She describes her job as "challenging and exciting".

    The Irish Coast Guard helicopters are fitted with forward-looking infra radar (FLIR) to detect the heat signature of a person. RTÉ put fixed cameras in the cockpit, and cabin of the helicopter and also attached pencil cams to the helmets of the winch crew.



    Dara seems like a Lovely lady.


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  • #2
    Good show. Anyone else tune in?

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    • #3
      Yeah, it was pretty good. That pilot in the light aircraft is one lucky guy!
      Education isn't everything, for a start it isn't an elephant

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      • #4
        He sure is. He had just bought the plane in the UK apparently and was ferrying it back to Ireland.

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        • #5
          My only complaint was that it was short. Similar UK shows can manage about an hour of material, I know our SAR assets are busy enough to do likewise, however I feel RTE is reluctant to sarcrifice the 8-830 slot to anything other than Fair Shitty, and they know a later or earlier slot won't have the viewership.

          Must have been some buzz for the rowers though, knowing their reaction led to a man's life being saved. Given how he was dressed, I doubt he would have lasted long in the water.

          It did demonstrate the absolute professionalism of the Crews though, while clearly not taking themselves too seriously. I particularly liked how the Heli pilot complimented the light aircraft pilot on his crash landing.


          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Good show. The guy in the light aircraft was blessed.

            Interesting to note that the helo is probably older than most of those operating it.
            Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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            • #7
              Pretty much just Sea Patrol repackaged , different names different faces same rescue senerios .In the first five min we where informed three times that the person in charge was female ,all well and good but will they continue to highlight it. Plus the marching back and forth in a straight line to the chopper was a bit silly .
              Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .

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              • #8
                There is no fly on the wall documentary anywhere on world tv that is not somewhat staged in some scenes. Might be a bit obvious to those with experience in the area, but to Joe Public it looks "cooler".

                Anyway forget the choppers...just how old is Dara? Did she say she had 17 years experience on the S-61 or are my ears failing me? My eyes definitely disagree...

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                • #9
                  Hi there,
                  If RTE could ever spend five minutes not focusing on the gender of one of the pilots, then they could make a decent documentary.Females in the cockpit aren't unusual any more.Our Chief Pilot in Aer Lingus is a woman and a young one at that.Where are the female winch crew, or female engineers?
                  regards
                  GttC

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                  • #10
                    Dont know about female winch crew but I do know a female engineer.

                    As for female pilots Aer Arann certainly employ a well above average number.

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                    • #11
                      Dara is 38(almost 39) she started flying when she was 17, and as soon as she had her ppl, moved to Scotland to train on helicopters. She spent most of her flying time flying to oil rigs in the north sea before moving to SAR. The Examiner had an interview with her on tuesday.
                      If you are in the right place, it is very easy to work up commercial flying hours.

                      As for female winch crew, would I be wrong in saying you'd require a level of physical strength higher than that of an average female to do the job?


                      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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                      • #12
                        Hi there,
                        We have about thirty female pilots and one engineer.They don't tend to stick it out in engineering...
                        regards
                        GttC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There appears to be a bit of a media "tit for tat" going on between the AC and the competitors in the private sector. It's no coincidence that since Rescue 117 was advertised there's been a few articles in the press recently that have quite obviously been pushed by the AC for what they themselves would consider routine operations.

                          Another one today http://www.independent.ie/national-n...s-2339325.html

                          This reminds me of similar carry on between the ARW and the ERU years ago with a press exclusive on one unit one week and then another on the other unit the next.

                          It's all a bit late as I think the AC have lost the war on this one and they can't compete with Rescue 117 which is a PR coup for the IRCG and CHC. I agree with previous posts that Rescue 117 might not the best in terms of production quality but it's still very watchable. It's an important role and the "human interest" aspect is undeniable. More importantly for the IRCG and CHC, it will help normalise the concept for viewers that SAR is provided by profit driven private sector operators rather than the AC.
                          Last edited by Jessup; 16 September 2010, 13:17.

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                          • #14
                            Hi Jessup,
                            I agree.Smells of a PR push. Given how slow the helicopter is compared to a turboprop, except for it's ability to land on a pad close to a hospital, I can't see what the benefit to the patient is.
                            regards
                            GttC
                            GoneToTheCanner
                            C/S
                            Last edited by GoneToTheCanner; 16 September 2010, 17:39.

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                            • #15
                              Oddly enough, the Air Corps photoshoot happened a week, if not 2 weeks ago, according to the Air Corps facebook page....
                              Strange that it should only appear in the papers/news the day after the TV show...


                              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

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