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Strangford Lough Sailor is BBC Cameraman in Ukraine

8th March 2022
Hydro 28 sailor David McIlveen of Strangford Lough Yacht Club is filming in Ukraine
Hydro 28 sailor David McIlveen of Strangford Lough Yacht Club is filming in Ukraine for the BBC

The daily news from Ukraine is upsetting and harrowing but we can’t truly know what it must be like to work there.

Strangford Lough Yacht Club member David McIlveen who sails the Hydro 28 Rampart, is an award-winning camera operator working with the BBC’s Clive Myrie as part of the backroom team of BBC satellite engineers, camera crew and safety advisers, who are putting their lives at risk to bring viewers the latest news from a Kyiv.

The i news reports Belfast based David McIlveen’s comments; “We were working on the satellite dish on the roof this morning when incoming artillery fire shook the hotel. We had to scarper down here to the bunker. I was FaceTiming my family to say there we’re all safe and there’s nothing to worry about when the explosions happened.”

David has been in Kyiv for a month, working in the streets and then returning to the makeshift underground studio. He says the team are exhausted.

i news reports that McIlveen won the Royal Television Society Journalism Camera Operator of the Year award for his work filming Clive Myrie’s coronavirus reports from the Royal London Hospital’s wards during the Covid pandemic.

Technical and ethical challenges arise from broadcasting from the bunker as “there are people down there with their families who are very frightened and they need their privacy,” McIlveen said.

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down

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