Lifeboats and heroes

RNLI

Last week I had the chance to pop down to Selsey and photograph the RNLI’s Lifeboat station.  It is an imposing structure, with its long gangway linking it to the shore.  I have always been fascinated by the story of lifeboats.  Perhaps my interest lies partly in the fact that a good portion of my first twelve years were spent at sea, even encountering a lifeboat on a particularly foggy day off the Devon coast when it was a very welcome sight indeed. The story of the lifeboat service is full of daring deeds and sacrifices.  I have often wondered why the BBC, or indeed, Hollywood, has failed to make a drama about it.  Still, to this day, the lifeboats are manned by volunteers, people with day jobs who feel it right to offer their service in aid of those in peril on the sea.

If you are interested in maritime history, you might enjoy this blog: Map of Time.

9 thoughts on “Lifeboats and heroes

  1. I guess this is something akin to our Coast Guard. I have no idea whether they are paid or volunteers, but I’m guessing they are paid. There are no shortage of amazing survivals on the seas whose stories would make fantastic viewing. Thanks for sharing, Rachael.

    • Hi Shannon. Our Coast Guard is like yours, a government organisation employing staff that deals with smuggling and other seaborne crime, as well as search and rescue. In the latter, they coordinate rescues, which more often than not involves contacting the nearest RNLI lifeboat.

      • I’ll have to check if Galveston Bay has anything of the sort (volunteer) here. If there is, I’ve not heard of them, and probably need to learn more.

      • Yes. Category-4 hurricane wiped out the whole island in 1900. It was estimated that 8,000 — probably many more — perished.

        With that history, we treat hurricanes with the respect they deserve. When Hurricane Ike turned toward us in 2008, we skedaddled well before the official evac was given. It was a direct hit to Galveston and Houston to the north, but fortunately, it was only a Category-2 storm. Not so bad in comparison to 1900.

  2. Our Coast Guard is definitely paid and they have some pretty fancy equipment to work with. I suspect some of it a result of the so-called war on drugs. 😮

    • I think so too! We have a coast guard too and it is a government organisation employing professionals whereas the RNLI is a charity. It seems to have two main roles, law keeping on the seas and search and rescue activities.

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