The dramatic rescue of two paragliders by the RNLI is to feature in a BBC documentary.

It happened in Newhaven on Christmas Eve when one of the paragliders slipped off a rock ledge into the water.

They were saved by Newhaven lifeboat crew - and the operation features in the documentary Saving Lives at Sea, which is now in its seventh series.

Lewis Arnold, who appears in the episode, said: “I’d just cleaned up the station, had put the dog on the lead and was going home to wrap some presents when the pager went off, so Plan B went into action.

"When we arrived both paragliders were on a rocky ledge with the tide coming and no phone signal. One of them jumped in and swam towards us, but the second, who couldn’t swim was knocked off the ledge by a wave.”

The Argus: Lewis Arnold, a member of the crew, will feature in the documentary. Image Credit: BBC/Blast! Films/Olly RoseLewis Arnold, a member of the crew, will feature in the documentary. Image Credit: BBC/Blast! Films/Olly Rose (Image: BBC?Blast! Films/Olly Rose)

“I don’t think they realised how bad it was, particularly since one of them couldn’t swim. Thankfully we were able to get them home to their families for Christmas.”

The Argus reported the incident at the time and told how the drama unfolded at around at around noon on Christmas Eve.

Police and paramedics were also called to the scene and the paraglider was taken from Newhaven Harbour in an ambulance.

Witnesses describe how the paraglider was visibly shivering as he made his way to the ambulance.

Newhaven RNLI has already featured in the TV programme. A previous episode focused on the sea search following the sinking of the Joanna C, when two fishermen lost their lives.

Robert Morley and Adam Harper died after their vessel sank in November 2020.

In 2021, the RNLI helped nearly 13,000 people and saved around 300 lives. Newhaven RNLI alone saved two lives and aided 72 people across 46 launches.

Mr Arnold, who is also a mechanic for the RNLI, added: “Our lifesaving work would not be possible without donations from the public and we are delighted to be able to share a frontline view of the rescues they support with their kind generosity.”

Newhaven RNLI can be seen in Saving Lives at Sea on Thursday, August 25.