Early morning and “Doris Bleasdale”, the Clogherhead Lifeboat completes a beach landing near its base in County Louth, Ireland.
The RNLI or Royal National Lifeboat Institution to give its full title, saves lives at sea around the coasts of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. Founded in 1824, the Clogher Head base has been operational since 1899.
Old habits – and ideas – died hard in the early days of the service. Whilst lifeboat launch and recovery was usually undertaken by women, there were deeply-held suspicions about women actually crewing the boats, as it was considered extremely bad luck. But happily life moves on and the first female member joined RNLI crews in 1969.
Footnote: “Doris Bleasdale”, the Mersey-class All-Weather lifeboat pictured here, was formally replaced by a new Shannon-class vessel in 2019.