Nick Crane leads a journey around the wildest shores of the British Isles to explore dramatic untold stories of peril from the seas.
The Great Storm of 1703 was the most devastating weather event ever to hit southern Britain, when lethal winds whipped in from the Atlantic to claim the lives of one in five seamen of the Royal Navy. Thousands perished and the winds of the storm set more than 400 windmills ablaze and blew ships from our shores to Norway.
On the tiny Scottish island of Tiree, Dick Strawbridge reveals a remarkable story from the Second World War of how the timing of the D-Day landings was determined by the heroism of RAF weather forecasters, flying hazardous missions far out into the storms of the Atlantic. As their vital missions routinely took them head on into storms that would have grounded all other flights, many aircraft crews were lost and their bodies never recovered. Dick meets one of these veteran flyers to discover how they managed to fly just feet above raging seas, with lightning striking the aircraft itself, in an attempt to find a break in the weather that would give the troops on the beaches of Normandy a fighting chance.
Poet and storyteller Ian McMillan uncovers the forgotten story of another shipwreck, which held Britain transfixed at the outbreak of the First World War. For two days in 1914, more than 200 victims aboard the hospital ship Rohilla fought for their lives within sight of the Yorkshire fishing port of Whitby. Mary Roberts, one of those rescued, had survived the sinking of the Titanic two years earlier, but said her experience on the Rohilla was even worse. With historic lifeboats, relatives of the victims and 1914 newsreel footage, Ian McMillan relives the tragic events that changed our lifeboat services forever.