Friday, 24 June 2016

Lifeboats and the Isle of Man

I have just come back from lecturing in the Isle of Man (which claims not to be in the EU.) On the promenade of the capital, Douglas, is this superb bas relief representing the lifeboat setting out on 20 November 1830 to rescue the crew of the paddle steamer St George which foundered on rocks in Douglas Bay during a storm.


The initiative for providing a lifeboat came from a Douglas resident, Sir William Hillary and he is depicted in the boat with his crew. He had founded the National Institution for Preservation of Life from Shipwreck in 1824 and their first lifeboat was stationed at Douglas. This society became the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and still provides the lifeboats and volunteer crews stationed around the coast of the UK today.

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