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Loch Ness Lifeboat volunteers photographed Victorian style

Lifeboats News Release

The Lifeboat Station Project ticks off station 103 at Loch Ness - only another 135 to go!

RNLI/Neil Hillyard

Jack Lowe with his camera at Loch Ness Lifeboat Station
It is to his credit that lifelong RNLI supporter and photographer Jack Lowe has remained so deeply committed to his Lifeboat Station Project given the scale of his undertaking and all the challenges which he has to overcome. His mission is to create a unique photographic archive of each of the 238 RNLI lifeboat stations and crews in the UK and Ireland using Victorian photographic techniques. The resulting glass plate image is known as an 'Ambrotype' which he develops on site in his mobile darkroom, a decommissioned ambulance called Neena.

The Loch Ness volunteers were proud to become part of this amazing undertaking and to have the privilege of witnessing the developing process as the image appears, as if by magic, on the glass plate in Jacks mobile darkroom.

Jack Lowe started photographing for his project in January 2015 and hopes to have it complete by 2020. Loch Ness Lifeboat Station was number 103 on his tour of 238 stations to visit. The Lifeboat Station Project is 'About the lifeboat volunteers, for the Lifeboat volunteers' and Jack has certainly engaged with the RNLI crews wherever he has visited. He now continues to the North East and is looking forward to reaching his half-way mark later this summer.

The Project is the first time anyone has tried to create a complete photographic record of every single lifeboat crew, so it will have enormous historic significance. The photographs will ultimately be showcased in a stunning exhibition and book, both of which stand to be huge fundraisers for the RNLI.

For more information, or to find out how to support Jack, visit

RNLI/Leanne Greatrex

Looking at Loch Ness crew Ambrotype in the darkroom

RNLI/Leanne Greatrex

Jack Lowe ticks off Loch Ness - 103 done, 135 to go!

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland