CBS 60 Minutes |Sink or Swim

CBS 60 Minutes |Sink or Swim

AFI Crew carry drone to boat at Sandycove Quay, near Kinsale.

Steve steps carefully onto CBS 60 minutes boat holding drone.

CBS Sports Crew and Aerial Filming Ireland Crew about to leave quayside for Island.

Boat heading over to Sandycove Island carrying Aerial Filming Ireland Crew Steve Flynn & John Hennessy as well as CBS 60 minutes Sports crew.

CBS 60 minutes sport swimmers moments before a basking shark was spotted nearby.

CBS 60 minutes sports. Two swimmers chat while resting off Sandycove Island shortly before one of them calls it a day.

Dramatic shot of channel off Kinsale's Sandycove Island as tide recedes.

CBS 60 minutes sports crew and Aerial Filming Ireland crew catch the lone swimmer in the ebbing tide.

Stills By Lucy Jones | Kerbute Productions

Ocean swimmer’s boot camp kicked off at 8am. Our aerial crew had been on the go since 5am, setting up the drone and the generator to make sure we had enough battery power for a day of hovering over salt water. Flying conditions were perfect. The sun was shining and more importantly, there was very little wind. The 60 Minutes ground crew arrived on schedule, some in a boat. The swimmers began to arrive shortly after. At 7.30am I called into air traffic control to let them know we would be taking off at 7.55 to catch the first swimmers going into the water at 8am. We had talked about the shot list with their New York Producer, discussing which was the best vantage point to use etc. and this was one of the most important shots of the day. But there was a problem. ATC refused me permission to fly. The wind was coming from the North and all air traffic had been diverted and was now flying over our location on their approach to the nearby airport. The controller told me he would do his best to get me off the ground by 8am. At 7.57am the swimmers were shuffling toward the slipway. I called in. The controller reluctantly gave me the go ahead provided I could land with 3 minutes notice and the drone crew breathed a sigh of relief. At 8am on the button the swimmers filed one by one into the water. We were in the air and primed, just about. They swam for several hours and it was exciting stuff. One by one, the swimmers called it a day and waded back onto the quay until, at about 11am there was one last shot to get. But air traffic control told us to stay on the ground until further notice. About 15 minutes he said. The lead swimmer was waiting to get back into the water. He was cold and tired having swam the 1km around the small island offshore at least three times already. The last thing he wanted to do was warm up only to get wet again. The Producer and his crew were in a small boat in the channel…waiting. 15 minutes turned to 30. We were grounded to accommodate incoming air traffic. The minutes ticked by. The clouds rolled in. The tide was going out. Pretty soon there would be 15 inches of water in the channel, hardly enough for anyone to swim let alone a 6’4 swarthy guy. I called in to ATC and was told to remain on the ground. 30 minutes became 50. The Producer was considering pulling the plug. At the eleventh hour we got permission to get off the ground and as luck would have it, the low tide enabled us to see the huge seaweed field in the channel and made for a visually stunning end to the day. Steve & John knocked it out of the park and finished up with a drone in one piece! Always a good thing.