Volunteers of the Brave: The Lifeboat

Volunteers braving the waters off the south-east coast of Ireland

On September 30, 2013 a new book will be published, and I will be among the first to order one. It tells the story of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) across all of Great Britain. This organization, created in 1824, involves 4,600 water rescue volunteers risking their lives to save the lives of others each and every day. The book is by Nigel Millard, one of RNLI’s long standing volunteers. He has created over 400 amazing photographs of National Geographic quality. From storm-ridden night rescues to a mid-morning cup of tea, the images in this book tell a remarkable story of these amazing volunteers.

Mr. Millard, who has volunteered for RNLI for 7 years, hopes that this book will give people a better understanding of their work. Hopefully more people will be inspired to volunteer. They don’t just need crew but fundraisers as well. The foreword in the book will be written by Prince William.

Here are a few facts about the RNLI to familiarize yourself with this extraordinary organization:

  • The RNLI was a set up in 1824 as a charity to save lives at sea. It was originally called the National Institution for the Preservation of Life at Shipwreck.
  • In 1838, Grace Darling, 22, became a celebrity of the day and rowed one of the organization’s boats out to sea to single-handedly save a crew wrecked on the Farne Islands.
  • The name was changed in 1854 to the current title and volunteers were given lifejackets made of cork.
  • They ditched the “sail and oar” way of propelling during the second World War and switched over to petrol-run boats.
  • Also, during the same war, women joined the force.

For an amazing teaser on the book and it’s images check out the UK’s The Daily Mail.

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