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Photographer capturing images of RNLI lifeboat stations is focus of attention

Lifeboats News Release

Photographer Jack Lowe found himself in front of the camera, rather than behind it, when his project to take pictures of all 238 RNLi lifeboat stations on a Victorian camera won him national recognition at the Maritime Media Awards.

Jack Lowe receives his Certificate of Merit from Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.

Maritime Foundation

Jack Lowe receives his Certificate of Merit from Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.

Jack Lowe begun work on the Lifeboat Station Project in January 2015 and aims to visit every station in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland using a 113-year-old camera which produces stunning images of RNLI crews on glass plate.

The Certificate of Merit for ‘Best Use of Digital Media’ awarded by the Maritime Foundation, was in recognition of his contribution in generating awareness of current maritime issues through digital media such as websites, handheld devices and social media networks.

It was presented to him by Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. The Maritime Foundation praised Jack for his dedication and: ‘presenting the volunteers in an interesting and unique way, using photography on glass plates’.

‘The website is easy to navigate, modern and fully responsive. The project has a defining quality which captures the core values of courage and commitment in volunteers who risk their lives daily to save others’.

Jack, who lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, has just reached the halfway point of the Lifeboat Station Project after spending four years on the road photographing more than 120 stations. During that time he has taken pictures of more than 2000 volunteers travelling in his mobile darkroom, a former NHS ambulance called ‘Neena’.

‘When I embarked on the Lifeboat Station Project I simply couldn’t have foreseen that my work would be recognised in this way at the halfway point some four years later,’ said Jack. ‘But this isn’t just recognition for my efforts, it’s recognition for the extraordinary people on our coastline who are prepared to drop everything at a moment’s notice when the emergency call comes’.

‘Over the years, I’ve grown to love thinking of imaginative ways to tell the story of the journey online via the website and my social media channels. So, it feels extra special to be complimented by the maritime community on this element of the Project. But without the RNLI volunteers, there would be no story to tell. And this unprecedented body of work is only possible with their help. As ever, my heartfelt thanks to every single person who’s taken part so far – I couldn’t have done it without you. Bring on the second half!’ he added.

Oli Dillon, Social Media Engagement Officer for the RNLI said: ‘Jack Lowe’s website really communicates the character of the Lifeboat Station Project and captures the spirit of the volunteers he photographs. It has the perfect balance of information and functionally. With an innovative use of different platforms including podcasting and films, you feel like you part of Jack’s epic mission’.

Photograph: Jack Lowe receives his Certificate of Merit from Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.

The Lifeboat Station Project can be found at: www.lifeboatstationproject.comMaritime Media Awards

Note for Editor’s:

This year marked the twenty-third year of the Maritime Media Awards, which were launched in 1995 by the Maritime Foundation to honour journalists, authors and others whose work in the media has served to create greater public understanding of maritime issues, and of Britain’s manifold dependence on the sea.

The RNLI has announced that Jack’s work will feature in a major exhibition, ‘Calm before the Storm: The Art of Photographing Lifeboats’, in 2019.

Follow Jack’s RNLI photographic mission on Instagram (@lordlowe), Facebook (, on Twitter (@ProjectLifeboat) or on the Project’s dedicated site (

Many more of Jack's images are available through the RNLI Press Office and a downloadable RNLI film about the Project is here:

RNLI Media contacts

  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected]

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.