A PHOTO A DAY HELPS …… Day 184, Thursday



With 11,000 miles of coastline, it’s not surprising that sea fishing, both as a leisure pursuit and commercially (sometimes on an industrial scale), is a way of life in our British seaside communities.


It is also unsurprising that fishing boats can get into difficulties, especially when the weather is stormy and the seas rough. There are believed to be well over 44,000 shipwrecks around our coasts but more are being discovered. This map looks shocking, especially when you start to estimate how many people on those boats have drowned. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) was formed in 1824.


A few years ago, we visited the idyllic little harbour of the village of Cove in the Scottish Borders on a beautiful calm, sunny day. We weren’t prepared for the heartbreaking sculpture of women and children desperately looking out to sea for their husbands, fathers and brothers. During the night of 14th October 1881, a terrible storm hit south east Scotland. 189 fishermen from six villages in Berwickshire were drowned – the worst disaster in British fishing history.




Did you know that . . . 

. . .  the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity and now operates 238 lifeboat stations around the UK coastline. It is run almost entirely by volunteers (95%). I am always amazed and puzzled that, as an island nation, the RNLI gets no government funding. They have saved more than 143,000 lives at sea in nearly two hundred years of existence, always putting out to sea whenever they get a distress call, even in the most violent and dangerous storms. Consequently, more than 600 volunteers have died which means an average of one volunteer for every 240 people saved. Many of those who have been rescued by the RNLI in more recent years are members of the public who get into difficulties off shore rather than professional fishermen.

It cost £181.5m in 2019 to run the Lifeboat Service – all funded by volunteers and supporters. They are constantly upgrading the boats, stations and equipment. All crews train every week.

4 thoughts on “A PHOTO A DAY HELPS …… Day 184, Thursday

  1. The Story of the Eyemouth fishing disaster is well known in the Borders. Is the statue fairly recent?

    Several years ago, as part of the Peebles Arts Festival, the musical play called “The Lament for the Little Boats” was performed in the Old Parish Church here to a sell-out audience. A choir called “The Fisher Lassies” sang the songs which of course included “Eternal Father, strong to save” but the prayers of that deeply religious community were not answered. The play and the singing were very moving and it was performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to huge acclaim. I would jump at the chance to see it again.

    thanks for this new way of renewing our acquaintance,


    On Thu, 8 Oct 2020 at 17:54, CROSSING CULTURES, FINDING FREEDOM wrote:

    > Margaret posted: ” FISHING and LIFEBOATS With 11,000 miles of coastline, > it’s not surprising that sea fishing, both as a leisure pursuit and > commercially (sometimes on an industrial scale), is a way of life in our > British seaside communities. It i” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks again for your photos, Margaret. The sculpture commemorating the loss of life on the Berwickshire coast is very moving.
    By the way, the RNLI is one of the country’s richest charities – along with Guide Dogs for the Blind which had so much money that a few years ago the Charity Commissioners required the charity to increase its spending on the purposes for which the money had been given….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Anne. That’s interesting about the RNLI being one of the richest charities. I have just been searching the internet about it. There are various different tables and sets of statistics. On different lists in the last two or three years, it comes out as 6th most popular, 7th in income on one list, 12th on another list, 38th on another. It’s not in the top 10 for 2020. But it does have one of the highest expenditures. I imagine it is a very expensive service to operate. I still think it should be treated the same as our other emergency services and funded by the government.


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