RTE Television

Rescue 117

Pilot Lee Bennett, Captain Dara Fitzpatrick and Winch operators Neville Murphy and Keith Devaney

For the first time ever RT cameras have been given exclusive access to the Irish Coast Guard's helicopter Search and Rescue service. Filmed over six months, RT 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. RT put fixed cameras in the cockpit, and cabin of the helicopter and also attached pencil cams to the helmets of the winch crew.


Programme One:

The crew of Rescue 117 battle to save lives in one of the most hostile environments in the world

Programme Two:

The crew of Rescue 117 search for a missing man in Waterford.

Programme Three:

The crew of rescue 117 try to locate three missing RNLI volunteers.

Programme Four:

The crew of rescue 117 rush to help save a baby's life.

Programme Five:

The crew of Rescue 117 are called to a rescue mission on the Blackstairs Mountains.

Programme Six:

The crew of Rescue 117 come to the aid of a woman who has had a serious equestrian injury.

Rescue 117
  • RT One, Tuesday, 8.30pm

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Rescue 115