On Newquay harbour I once again found myself next to a lifeboat station, and once again I was reminded of the power and ferocity of the sea, as you can see from this photo I took right outside the lifeboat station. It looks like an explosion of water; like the ocean is a volatile explosive substance liable to destruction at any moment.
In August 2000, aged 7 years and 6 months I was lucky enough to be at Ilfracombe RNLI looking at the lifeboat when they got a shout. An alarm sounded and we were hurried out of the station and told to stay well back from the road. Rockets were fired into the sky like fireworks and sure enough, in just minutes several cars darted down the road and out got each of the crew and ran into the station. Within minutes of this first alarm, the boat was down the slipway and sailing off into the baring sea. I think it was the sheer excitement of this moment and unbelievable speed of the volunteer crew's response that really stuck with me and began my lifelong fascination with lifeboats and their crews.