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The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts

Courage on our Coasts

For nearly a decade, professional photographer and volunteer lifeboat crew member Nigel Millard has been capturing the spirit of the RNLI in his portraits and reportage-style photographs. 

This year, a new book of almost 500 of Nigel’s iconic images of RNLI life has been published. The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts offers an insight into the day-to-day work of the RNLI all around the UK and Ireland.

Buy the book


​Nigel first became involved with the RNLI in 1990 when he photographed the crew at Hoylake Lifeboat Station for a personal project, and quickly fell in love with the RNLI way of life. 

When Nigel moved to Devon in 2004, he jumped at the chance to continue working with the RNLI. He began joining the volunteer crew at his nearest lifeboat station, Torbay, on exercises and rescue missions more and more frequently. 

Today, he spends 2 or 3 weeks every month shooting for the RNLI at locations around the UK and Ireland and, when he is not on a shoot, he is a lifeboat crew member at Torbay. In 2010 Nigel was presented with a supporter award in recognition of his outstanding work for the RNLI. 

RNLI Lookout by Alex Wilkinson – winner of the RNLI My Coast photography competitionYour winner!

Congratulations to photographer Alex Wilkinson from Barnsley, winner of the RNLI My Coast photography competition. 

Alex's fabulous shot of Scarborough Lifeboat Station, pictured here, received 34% of the public vote on our Facebook page. 

Speaking about his photograph, entitled RNLI Lookout, Alex said: 

'I liked the framing of this photo.  

'It was different not having the lifeboat in the station, but having an individual stood there instead.'

Judge Nigel Millard said he shortlisted this image because of its 'good balance and depth'.

Alex wins a large, signed print of his choice from Nigel's book  The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts  and a photo-quality Epson printer. 

About the competition

Professional photographer and volunteer lifeboat crew member, Nigel Millard, challenged photographers around Britain and Ireland to capture what the coast means to them. 

Alex's photo was shortlisted into Nigel's top 10 from more than 100 entries. And then it was over to you to choose your favourite. 

Of the 1,101 Facebook votes, 371 were for RNLI Lookout

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. The standard of entries was very high. And we really enjoyed seeing your spectacular photos and just how much the coast means to you.


The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts is published by Conway and retails at £25. It's available at RNLIshop.org, along with a range of other products inspired by Nigel's photographs – all RNLIshop profits come to the RNLI.

Buy the book