Friday, 1 February 2008

A Lucky Escape

Originally uploaded by steve.ashton7
As you may know many years ago I worked as a full time press photographer on a number of national news papers. These days I do very little actual day to day press photography. However once in a while I still get call from picture desks asking for a fast response to a developing incident or news story.

Late last night I got one such call. A ferry "The Riverdance" was in distress of the Blackpool coast and it was looking like the passengers and crew would need to rescued by helicopter. When you get these calls it is more often than not to some situation were lives are at risk and I always leave home hoping no lives will be lost.

After a few phone calls it seemed that Blackpool airport would be used as a receiving point for casualties. A short drive found me in what can only be described as very bad conditions, gale force winds, driving rain and freezing cold. What it must have been like for the people on the ferry I hate to think and the fact that the RAF and Royal Navy aircrews had to fly in these conditions leaves mw with the greatest respect for their courage and skills.

On a photography angle my challenge was getting a picture back to the news papers in total darkness not to mention using a 300mm lens at around 1/15 second. no mean feat in its self. Anyway pictures we did get and then again this morning it was back to Blackpool to get some images of the ship itself.

Very different than wedding and portrait photography but a test for some old and some new skills. I am glad to report no major injuries from this potential disaster. A massive well done to the rescue crews. It is good to know these guys are around when you really need them.

Here are 3 images from this job just to give you some idea of what was going on.


bitrot said...

Great shot, Steve, especially considering the technical challenges.

What you need next time is one of these bad boys:

At only £17K it's a snip. I believe that tiny thing on the end of it is a camera. ;-)

bitrot said...

Oops - here's that URL as a link.

Ian Bramham said...

Having read your description, it's amazing that you managed to get this shot....well done!