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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
April 2014 issue
Sea Angels South Coast, England Back to menu
by Damian Bird
A portrait of the Brixham Lifeboat crew Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) on exercise
Frightened, exhausted, in a battered yacht being tossed about by high seas, a sailor makes a desperate mayday call. He and his crew will breathe a sigh of relief when they glimpse the bright orange and blue of the all-weather lifeboat making its way through the huge waves. RNLI lifeboats have been making rescues like this since 1824 and over the years more than 137,000 lives have been saved.  The brave RNLI crews are prepared to answer a ‘shout’ in any weather, day or night and they do so as volunteers.  They come from all walks of life: doctors, bakers, policemen, graphic designers, teachers.  But they all share one thing in common, they are all prepared to risk their lives in order to help someone in danger at sea.
Brixham lifeboat reflected in the harbour on a cold March morning.
Two crew members of Brixham’s lifeboat sharing a joke just before putting on their kit to head out on an exercise in the RNLI all-weather boat that can been seen in the background. Bonding between crew members is essential.
Bosun of the Brixham RNLI lifeboat, kits up with his water-triggered life jacket and all-weather gear.
The Brixham lifeboat hits its top sped of 28 knots with the growling acceleration of a sports car.
Two crew members preparing to drop anchor.
View from the cabin.  When the water tight doors are sealed on the cabin, the boat can fully capsize without being in any danger of sinking.
Retrieving the anchor.
Returning to Brixham haarbour after completion of an exercise.
9am and the boat rocks gently in a light breeze as the crew plan the remainder of the exercise.
The boat can be controlled from the top deck or from within the water-tight cabin below.  Here the bosun communicates with other crew members from the top deck.
Boat’s compass on the top (open-air) deck.
Two powerful lifeboat engines under full-throttle.
Top deck.  The Bosun carefully navigates his way back into Brixham harbour.
Large bouys are hung from the sides of the lifeboat when it is moored to prevent the vessel from damaging itself against the jetty.
The lifeboat preparing to dock for re-fuelling.
Lifeboat being refuelled with red commercial diesel.
Mooring rope being thrown on board the lifeboat at the end of the exercise.
The Bosun overseeing refuelling.
The crew members that I met were all friendly, warm and passionate about their role in the RNLI.
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