This maritime history recounts dramatic tales of rescue at sea by the brave members of the 200-year-old Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Whenever vessels have foundered off the coasts of Britain, there have been brave individuals willing to give their all to save those in peril. But in 1823, Sir William Hillary decided that this impromptu approach was not enough. He believed that many more lives could be saved by the establishment of a national, organized rescue service. His idea was realized the following year with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. From the days of oar-powered open boats to modern, hi-tech vessels, rescuers have battled storms and unimaginable conditions, risking - and sometimes forfeiting - their own lives in efforts to save others. The most outstanding of these operations led to the awarding of gold medals for gallantry, the RNLI version of the Victoria Cross. Drawn from archives, contemporary newspaper accounts and genealogical records, this book looks not just at the details of the rescues, but into the people behind them.
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