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Rhyl RNLI volunteer crew have photo taken with vintage camera

Lifeboats News Release

Jack Lowe, of 'The Lifeboat Station project, called in to the station on Sunday 14 April 2019.

using victorian camera

RNLI/Paul Frost

Jack Lowe of the Lifeboat Station Project at Rhyl 14/4/19
The earliest seeds of this project were sown in Jack Lowe's childhood, when his love for lifeboats began. Much later in life, after a career in photography, Jack found himself searching for a change in direction — something that would take him away from sitting in front of computers all day!

Jack's idea is to travel to all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland to photograph them, in order to preserve a vital aspect of our island nation’s culture for generations to come. And there’s a twist! Jack works as the Victorians used to, making the photographs on glass from his mobile darkroom — a decommissioned ambulance called Neena. His website is

By visiting every RNLI Lifeboat Station in the UK and Republic of Ireland, Jack is creating an unprecedented archive, preserving a vital aspect of our island nation’s culture for future generations. 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 are set to be huge fundraisers for the RNLI.

The Lifeboat Station Project is currently scheduled to be completed in 2022. A selection of the work has already been acquired for a National Collection.

Jack started early on the Sunday, preparing the glass plates which were to be used to make the photos. Each shot is prepared with great precision and can take up to an hour to compose, take the shot, and process the result in Neena.

Coxswain martin Jones said 'The volunteer crew at Rhyl were thrilled to hear that Jack was visiting this station as the last one on his present section of the project. Jack is a great supporter of the RNLI, and we are very excited to see the results in the next few weeks. We wish Jack every success on his mission'

The attached photos were taken by Rhyl crew and also Jeff Nagel from Flint, who is following Jack, taking photos of the photographer!

More photos can be found on the station Facebook page at

at front of station

RNLI/Jeff Nagle

Jack Lowe at Rhyl 14/4/19
The Lifeboat Station Project

RNLI/Paul Frost 14/4/19

Jack Lowe photographing Coxswain Martin Jones
in his converted ambulance 'Neena'

RNLI/Jeff Nagle

Jack Lowe producing a finished glass plate 14/4/19 at Rhyl

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, Carrybridge 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