Island author, speaker and lifeboat historian, Noel Stimson, has written a lavishly illustrated book, The Lifeboat Heritage of the Isle of Wight, to mark more than 160 years of RNLI lifesaving on the Island.
The Island has been pivotal in RNLI history, with more than 400 lifeboats built in Cowes and East Cowes shipyards, and, for 60 years, the RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre at East Cowes has built, maintained and repaired over 1,800 inshore lifeboats.
Noel said: “When I became the Island’s RNLI lifeboat heritage officer, I was presented with an amazing collection of photographs of Island lifeboats and stations. I felt these should not merely be archived but should be seen and enjoyed by the many who care about our Island’s maritime history. I am proud to be able to dedicate it to all those extraordinary people who save lives at sea.”
The RNLI celebrates its bicentenary this year and chairman of the IW RNLI Lifeboat board, Robin Ebsworth, added: “Noel’s unique collection of photographs form an outstanding record of Islanders’ contribution to lifesaving around our coasts. They show the evolution of lifeboat design, help commemorate those brave crews and lives lost in saving others and are a significant contribution to the RNLI’s 200th anniversary year.”
The Lifeboat Heritage of the Isle of Wight is available from local outlets across the Island. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be go to the RNLI.