THE volunteer lifeboat crew of Swanage RNLI will be taking to the small screen next week, as they feature in the fourth episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Now in its fourth season, the documentary series showcases the lifesaving work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The latest 10-part series features real rescues carried out by the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards around the UK and Ireland – including Swanage RNLI.

Gavin Steeden, helm of the Swanage inshore lifeboat, featured in the forthcoming episode

He said: "It is great to see the work we do on TV like this.

"We’re always grateful for the support we get from the public as we rely on donations to do what we do, so it great that all our supporters now get to see, from the comfort and safety of their own front rooms, exactly how they help us save lives."

This forthcoming episode, on 17th September, sees Swanage RNLI assisting a fallen climber, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches.

The show will air just days after the Daily Echo reported that the RNLI was axing 135 jobs, with the majority coming from its Poole headquarters.

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said: "The RNLI is facing some major challenges. We have a shortfall of funds, but more people than ever need our help. It's a perfect storm."

Each programme gives an insight into the lives and work of the charity’s lifesavers who rescue thousands of people and saving hundreds of lives around the coast and on inland waterways every year.

The new television series features real-life rescue footage, accompanied by testimonials from the volunteer crews, lifeguards and the people they rescue and their families.

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life.

Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and the television show provides a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Last year alone, RNLI lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland rescued 9,412 people, saving 211 lives, while the charity’s lifeguards aided 32,207 people and saved 118 lives on some of the UK’s busiest beaches.

The Swanage RNLI episode will be broadcast on BBC Two at 8pm.