For over two centuries the town of Exmouth has been served by a lifeboat. For over 150 years
that service has been provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
This highly illustrated
book looks at the illustrious part Exmouth has played in lifesaving in South Devon, and provides
the reader with a stirring pictorial history of the men and the lifeboats of Exmouth.
From the launch of the first ‘North Country’ class, purpose-built lifeboat at Exmouth in
1803, the book traces the history of the boats, crews and rescues of those who followed in her
wake. The town received its first RNLI lifeboat, the Victoria, in 1859; the first motor-lifeboat,
the Catherine Harriet Eaton, being placed on station in 1933. In 1996 came the introduction of
the Trent Class lifeboat, Forward Birmingham, and the book concludes with the arrival of the
Mersey Class Margaret Jean and the opening of the new ultra-modern Exmouth Lifeboat Station
which now houses the Margaret Jean and the ILB, D669 George Bearman.
The RNLI has an active fleet of 322 lifeboats, comprising All Weather Lifeboats (ALBs) and
Inshore Lifeboats (ILBs), ranging from 5.0m (16ft) to 17m (55ft 9in) in length. The relief fleet
comprises an additional 112 lifeboats. In 2009 the Exmouth Lifeboat Station, which operates
both an ALB and an ILB, launched on a total of 95 occasions making it the third busiest station
in the south-west and the busiest in Devon.
The RNLI is a registered charity, which exists to save lives at sea. Since its foundation in 1824,
the RNLI has saved more than 137,000 lives. Royalties from the sale of this book will go
towards the work of the RNLI.
Alan Salsbury is a ‘local’ man having been born, raised and
educated in Paignton. Living on the outskirts of Torbay he
undertakes work as a ‘volunteer speaker’ for the RNLI and
has previously written the histories of the Torbay and
Plymouth lifeboats stations.
When asked why he has written books devoted to the men,
women and boats of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution,
he said “I do it out of the pure respect and admiration I have for the members of lifeboat crews, past and
present. The quiet and unassuming manner in which they carry out their duties, often risking their own lives to
save others, should be acknowledged and remembered.”
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 073 2, hardback, 297x210mm, 160 pages. Published September 2010.