The RNLI is one of the best known maritime rescue organisations in the world. It receives no financial support from the British government and is supported entirely by public donations. Edward Wake-Walker, the RNLI's former director of public relations, tells the story of the Institution from its beginnings during the reign of Queen Victoria, to the hi-tech rescue maritime organisation it has become in the 21st Century. He describes how it all began; the early lifeboats - pulling and sailing; early lifeboat heroes - what it took to be a volunteer in the 19th century, some famous coxswains; early rescues and disasters; motorised lifeboats; the arrival of speed - inshore and all-weather craft; the modern fleet; the modern volunteer crewmember; new areas for the RNLI - mudflats (hovercraft), rivers, beaches, prevention of accidents; partners in rescue - Coast Guard, Royal Navy, RAF etc; and concludes with a survivor's story.
50p from every sale of this book goes directly to the RNLI.
Edward Wake-Walker worked for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for 28 years, the last 16 of which as Public Relations Director. He has a profound knowledge of the lifeboat service's 180-year history and has travelled widely throughout the UK and Ireland, meeting and writing about many of the most well-known lifeboat coxswains. In 1992, he published RNLI Gold Medal Rescues in collaboration with the marine artist, Tim Thompson. Leaving the RNLI at the end of 2002, he has turned his attention to writing and part-time teaching at Bournemouth University. He is the author of Lost Photos of the RNLI (2004) for Sutton. He lives in Purbeck, Dorset.