Brighton Beach Patrol: Episode 8

Friday 23rd October 8.00pm

Continuing this week is the documentary series following the work of the police, lifeguards and RNLI volunteers who patrol Brighton’s worldfamous beach. This week, the hottest day of the year brings huge crowds to the beach, bodybuilders gather for a competition and an RNLI open day is brought to an abrupt end.

Every summer, some eight million people descend on Brighton as the town’s population doubles in size during the holiday season. The big draw is the world-famous beach, one of Britain’s most iconic seaside destinations. Filmed throughout the summer of 2009, this series follows the emergency services on land and sea, day and night, as they work to ensure that holidaymakers’ good times do not end in disaster.

The cameras follow the work of Brighton’s lifeguards, who last year carried out 41 rescues, and the police community support officers, who patrol the beach and enforce the town’s bylaws and regulations. They are supported by the RNLI, who coordinate sea rescues in their lifeboats. These vessels can be called out at a moment’s notice to save boats and swimmers in distress. The programme also catches up with the officers behind Sussex Police’s ‘Operation Marble’, which aims to stop drunk revellers running wild through the town’s streets every weekend.

Through the work of the emergency services, ‘Brighton Beach Patrol’ meets people from all walks of life, from drag queens and beach cleaners to teashop owners, nightclub bosses, hotel managers and fishermen. The series is set against the backdrop of Brighton’s year-round programme of festivals and events, ranging from Gay Pride to the Brighton Carnival and the season-ending White Air Festival.

Together, the cops, characters and partygoers form a rich and diverse assortment of human life – a testament to why Brighton remains one of the country’s top tourist destinations, with record numbers of visitors this year.

In this instalment, it is the hottest day of the year and Brighton is bursting with holidaymakers and revellers. Down on the beach, the lifeguards have their work cut out making sure everyone is safe. Seafront manager Viki Miller is tasked with finding a missing three-year-old boy amongst over 100,000 beach users. Lifeguard Izzy Wood, meanwhile, turns her attention to weaver fish. These venomous sea creatures are making their presence known and Izzy is left to treat their unsuspecting victims.

At the marina it is the RNLI open day. As the crowds gather to learn about the volunteers’ work, a real emergency call comes in and the team must leap into action. Also this week, the seafront turns into ‘muscle beach’ as bodybuilders from all over the country gather for the FAME Britain bodybuilding championships.

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