A stunning sea rescue photography book and exhibitionis launched

new book and exhibition showcasing striking photos of the lifesaving
work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) 
launched today.

From dramatic shots of lifeboats battling fierce seas
to candid portraits of the charity’s dedicated volunteer crew members,
lifeguards and fundraisers, The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts showcases
more than 400 iconic images.

The photographs were captured through the lens of RNLI lifeboat crew
member and award-winning professional photographer Nigel Millard.

The book and exhibition is the result of two years’ work and offer a unique eyewitness
insight into the full scope of the RNLI’s lifesaving work.

Nigel, who volunteers as a crew member at Torbay in Devon,
visited RNLI lifeboat stations and lifeguard units around the UK and

At each lifeboat station, Nigel carried a pager and was alerted
to shouts, along with the local crew, to capture the action first-hand.

The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts,
published by Conway, is written by Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, with the
foreword by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

A selection of striking images
from the book also features in a touring exhibition of the same name.
The exhibition is freely available to everyone, 24 hours a day, whatever
the weather, just like the RNLI itself.

It is the first time
that photographs of the RNLI’s work have been made available to the
public in this way. It is travelling to locations including London,
Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Dublin and Birmingham.

Copies of
the book will be available to buy at the exhibition, along with other
specially-designed merchandise featuring Nigel’s stunning images.

Nigel Millard said: ‘My
favourite photo is a casualty’s eye view. I’ve been a man overboard on
exercises – once in the water, you see nothing, then just a tiny bit of
orange, and it’s not the sun, it’s a lifeboat.

‘It epitomises the work I
do, and the work of the RNLI.

‘I hope the exhibition will raise
awareness of the charity. People who don’t know anything about rescue at
sea will get to hear about it, they will know we’re here to help.

‘Someone might be inspired to volunteer – not necessarily on the crew,
but maybe as a fundraiser. Or some might wish to donate.’

Author, Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, who accompanied Nigel on many of his photoshoots, said: ‘It’s
a show of great photos that represent the best of the RNLI.

‘It’s a way
of reminding people that they are only ever 70 miles from the sea – we
may all need the RNLI’s help. We’ve joined crews all around the country
on shouts, but also for a cup of tea.

‘The photos are a collection of
what the RNLI family means, the true spirit of the RNLI – ordinary
people doing extraordinary things.’

The book’s publication date is 30 September. It can be pre-ordered and is available direct from the RNLI (www.rnlishop.org) as well as bookshops and stockists including Waterstones, Foyles and WH Smiths and Amazon UK

My Coast photography competition

In partnership with Epson, the charity is running a photography competition, My Coast,
while the exhibition is touring.

The charity is challenging
photographers to capture what the varied and beautiful coasts of the
British Isles mean to them. The winner will receive:

  • A large format print of an image of their choice from The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts exhibition, signed by the photographer Nigel Millard
  • A photo quality Epson colour printer (kindly donated by Epson)
  • A waterproof housing for an SLR camera and an iPhone waterproof housing (kindly donated by Cameras Underwater).

A short-list of 10 entries will be selected by Nigel Millard. He
will be looking for striking images that encapsulate the photographer’s
experience of the British Isles coastlines and something of their
relationship with the sea.

The short-list will then go forward for a
public vote on the RNLI’s Facebook page.

The closing date is Monday 31
March 2014 and the winner will be notified by Monday 5 May 2014. Entries
should be submitted by completing the online form at www.rnli.org/mycoast and emailing images as a JPEG file to mycoast@rnli.org.uk.

For those who can’t make it to the exhibition, an online version will also be available at www.rnli.org/courageonourcoasts.

Picture captions: 

Ireland’s first RNLI Tamar class lifeboat, the Kilmore Quay Killarney has been braving the waters off the south-east coast of Ireland since 2010.

Alderney RNLI Trent class lifeboat Roy Barker motors off Les Étacs gannet colony in unusually kind conditions. The waters here are known to be particularly difficult, with severe winter swells and fierce running tides.

Ready for the next time the RNLI Achill Island lifeboat is called to sea, the crew’s all-weather gear is neatly stowed in the boathouse.