A new book and a spectacular outdoor exhibition showcasing striking photos of the lifesaving work of the RNLI, features stunning photographs of Tobermory’s Severn class lifeboat and children of today’s crew – dressed in their fathers’ oilskins, entitled ‘Future Crew’.
The exhibition has just been launched in Birmingham and will tour the UK and Ireland.
Among the exhibition images, which represent the length and breadth of the RNLI’s lifesaving work, is a photograph of Tobermory’s Severn class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, in the early morning light in Tobermory Bay.
The unique display is freely available to everyone, 24 hours a day, whatever the weather, just like the RNLI’s service.
From dramatic shots of lifeboats battling fierce seas to candid portraits of the charity’s dedicated volunteer crew members, lifeguards and fundraisers, the book and exhibition – The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts - present over 400 unforgettable images, captured through the lens of RNLI lifeboat crew member and award-winning professional photographer, Nigel Millard.
Nigel’s photos – the result of two years’ work – offer a unique eyewitness insight into the full scope of the RNLI’s lifesaving work.
To capture the images, Nigel, who volunteers as a crew member at Torbay in Devon, visited RNLI lifeboat stations and lifeguard units around the UK and Ireland.
At each lifeboat station, Nigel carried a pager and was alerted to shouts, along with the local crew, to capture the action first-hand. Nigel spent four days in Tobermory in November last year, not only shadowing the crew on exercises but also meeting other station volunteers, their families and the Ross of Mull fundraising branch.
The exhibition is the first time that photographs of the RNLI’s work have been made available to the public in this way. It is no surprise that in 2010 Nigel was awarded an RNLI Supporter Award for his continued support.
Over the course of five months, the exhibition will appear in locations including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin. It features some of the most impressive photos from this new book [published just this week].
The book – the exhibition takes its title – has been written by Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, with a foreword by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
Nigel Millard says he hopes the images will give people a better understanding of the RNLI’s lifesaving work, saying: ‘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.’
The book’s author, Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, who accompanied Nigel on many of his photoshoots, says of the book and exhibition: ‘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.’
[This photo was too much fun not to share a bigger version of it.]
The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts by Nigel Millard and Huw Lewis-Jones is available from rnlishop.org or Amazon and other good book stores.
The photograph above, of Tobermory Lifeboat’s FUTURE CREW, is by Nigel Millard and reproduced with permission of the RNLI.