Elissa Thursfield, 28, will feature in the show called Saving Lives at Sea, which is set to air soon on BBC One and is all about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s volunteer lifeboat crew.
Filmed over the course of several months the series portrays what life is like for those volunteers who must be ready at any time of day or night to help someone in trouble at sea or on the River Thames.
Elissa has been a volunteer lifeboat crew member with Abersoch RNLI for 10 years and is in training to become a Helm. She is also a member of the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and was selected to be involved in the series after her involvement in high profile rescues during the team’s deployment to the Cumbria floods in December caught the attention of producers.
Since then Elissa has been filmed at Abersoch lifeboat station with fellow volunteer crew, in St Asaph with fellow Flood Rescue Team members, at work in Rhyl, at home with fiancé and Abersoch RNLI Senior Helm David Wyn Williams and for an interview at the Rhyl Little Theatre.
Then last week she travelled to Blackpool to meet up with other RNLI volunteers involved in the series for a promotional photoshoot in full lifeboat kit.
Now she said she cannot wait to see the show broadcast.
She said: ‘It’s great to have been involved in this project and I’m really proud that Abersoch station is included. I hope that people who watch it will get a little more understanding about what RNLI volunteers do and why they do it.
‘Of course I am only one part of a team with both the Abersoch lifeboat and the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and I am no different from other volunteers – I love my part of the world and I wanted to give something back through volunteering.
‘The whole Abersoch crew and the Welsh members of the Flood Rescue Team are looking forward to watching the series and giving viewers a small insight into what we do.’
Other stations included in the filming across the UK were Blackpool, Torbay, Tower, Oban, Newquay, Eastbourne and Brighton, whose volunteers have over the past year allowed specialist cameras and equipment onto their lifeboats and welcomed film makers into their stations.
The series is a moving, real-life snapshot of the work that over 4,700 RNLI volunteers are prepared to do 24-hours a day at over 230 lifeboat stations around the waters of the UK and Ireland. The audience will follow real-life rescue situations from the perspective of a lifeboat crew member, understand the importance of community and family support to lifeboat volunteers and the poignant reasons behind why people from all walks of life volunteer to put their lives on the line to save others.
The series forms part of a special volunteering season by the BBC called Do Something Great.
Leesa Harwood, RNLI Community Lifesaving and Fundraising Director, said: ‘We’re excited and proud to be involved in the BBC’s Do Something Great season and to have the opportunity to showcase the work of our courageous volunteers on BBC One.
‘Last year alone our courageous lifeboat crews rescued almost 8,000 people and saved 348 lives, while over 20,000 people across the UK and Ireland volunteer their time to raise the funds that enable our crews to continue their lifesaving work.
We hope that lots of people tune in, enjoy the series and learn more about our lifesaving charity.’
Saving Lives at Sea will be shown on BBC One later this spring.
Notes to editors:
The attached pictures show:
– Elissa Thursfield
– Elissa Thursfield (far left) and other RNLI volunteers set to feature in the RNLI series Elissa Thursfield (far left) and other RNLI volunteers set to feature in the RNLI series Saving Lives at Sea on BBC One (credit Nigel Millard)
For more information contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer Wales, on 07748 265496 / Chris_Cousens@rnli.org.uk or Danielle Rush, RNLI Public Relations Manager Wales, on 07786 668829 / Danielle_Rush@rnli.org.uk.