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Our volunteer lifeboatman helps save another life  

28 August 2015

Openreach engineer Darren Killick featured in TV documentary.

BBC TV’s Close Calls on Camera shows how Darren and his crew helped save a drowning angler after a big wave knocked him off South Gare pier, Redcar.

Darren, who works for Openreach, is also volunteer helmsman with the RNLI’s Hartlepool lifeboat. He and his crew were training nearby when they got the call that Michael Soley was fighting to stay alive in the stormy sea.

They were quickly on scene. But, with Michael drifting in and out of consciousness, they knew he couldn’t survive much longer.

Darren says: “He didn’t have much time left. He didn’t look as if he was alive.”

Openreach engineer Darren Killick

As Michael fell unconscious Darren and the crew managed to grab him and pull him on board. They gave him oxygen and sped to the shore.

Michael spent three days in hospital and made a full recovery. He visited the lifeboat station to thank Darren and the crew who saved him.

“He’s very lucky to be alive,” says Darren. “If we hadn’t been on the exercise that day I don’t think he’d be here to tell the tale.”

Three years ago, Darren and his lifeboat crew won a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Award for their bravery in saving teenager Neil Robson from drowning after he became trapped in the sand on Seaton Crew Beach.