RNLI coxswain joins Jeremy Paxman for podcast

RNLI Torbay Coxswain Mark Criddle wearing a buoyancy aid and sat on a lifeboat

RNLI Torbay Coxswain Mark Criddle OBE - Credit: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Torbay RNLI lifeboat coxwain Mark Criddle -  who went out on his 500th shout during lockdown - has taken part in a podcast with legendary interviewer Jeremy Paxman. 

In his series The Lock In, Jeremy puts aside his renowned interviewing style for conversations with author Lee Child, actor Brian Cox and Python Michael Palin. 

The Lock In with Jeremy Paxman

The Lock In with Jeremy Paxman - Credit: Submitted

In his favourite pub over a pint, he also chatted to Mark about volunteering for the RNLI and bravery on the high seas.  

Mark said: “I couldn’t explain to you in words how someone looks, the relief on their faces when everything else in life is going wrong at that point and the lifeboat turns up.” 

Having read the RNLI’s Surviving the Storms book, among the wide-ranging chat the two had, Jeremy wanted to talk to Mark about the Ice Prince shout of 2008. 

Mark and his crew of RNLI Torbay volunteers rescued eight of the 132 metre cargo ship’s crew before the 44-tonne coaster capsized and sank.   

Mark, who was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for Gallantry for his role in the rescue effort, said: “I’m proud to see this story featured in the book, alongside so many other incredible rescues by the RNLI’s lifeguards and lifeboat crews right across the UK and Ireland.”    

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In total darkness and atrocious weather conditions, the other 12 crew were rescued by a HM Coastguard helicopter before the 44-tonne coaster capsized and sank. 

The book Surviving the Storms recounts 11 of the charity's most remarkable rescues from the last two decades.  

These are stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI's lifesavers have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives. 

From volunteer lifeboat crew members in Scotland rescuing those on board a sinking ship, to lifeguards in Cornwall saving the lives of people just moments away from drowning, this book has an abundance of drama told from the unique perspective of the RNLI lifesavers, as well as those they rescue. 

Listen to Jeremy Paxman’s podcast featuring Mark Criddle, on Acast, Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcast content. The book is available on the RNLI website.