Riders of the Storm: The Story of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Riders of the Storm: The Story of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

by IanCameron (Author)


Saving lives from the waters around the coasts of Britain and all Ireland doesn't get any less hazardous. For more than 175 years rescuing sailors from shipwrecks or holidaymakers from small boats has been in the hands of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which remains a wholly voluntary-funded, non-Government organisation. No matter how sophisticated ships have become storms are as bad as ever and ships, it seems, just as likely to get into difficulties. The lives of crews are still at risk: it is only 20 years since the small Cornish fishing village of Penlee lost half the adult menfolk when its lifeboat sank at sea. 1999 saw an average of 18 lifeboat launches daily around Britain and Ireland, with 18 people brought to safety and 3 people saved from death. Cameron's account is not the first, but this account puts the story into a political and social perspective, and still thrills with the stirring and often poignant narrative of the rescues themselves. That crews continue to risk their own lives to save those who haven't always behaved sensibly is part of the lifeboat service ethos. In Cameron's view the quality required by lifeboat crews above all else is courage. Cameron's account is not without criticisms. Yet recently it has shown itself prepared, for instance, to meet social change with women becoming crew members, and to cope with the vast increase in weekend sailing and 'messing about in boats'. He compares 1885 with 187 lifeboat launches - 26% in summer and 74% in winter - with 1995 when launches totalled 3,864, but 77% of these in summer and only 23% in winter.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Published: 14 Mar 2002

ISBN 10: 0297607901
ISBN 13: 9780297607908
Book Overview: Middle-market tabloid serial Mailings to quarter of a million RNLI members

Author Bio
Ian Cameron, pseudonym of Donald Payne.