‘Surviving the Storms’ features Exmouth RNLI rescue

Lifeboats News Release

A new book, published on Thursday 11 June, includes an incredible rescue by courageous Exmouth volunteers in 2011.

RNLI/John Thorogood

Dept. 2nd Coxswain Roger Jackson with a copy of ‘Surviving the Storm’ and his RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry

The book brings together several amazing first-hand accounts of rescues by some of our remarkable RNLI lifesavers with detailed descriptions of some of the most dramatic rescues at sea from the last 20 years. Each experience is relived through the eyes of the volunteers as they put themselves in harms way, face extreme conditions, make life or death decisions and tackle difficult and dangerous situations.

One such account is that given by RNLI Deputy 2nd Coxswain Roger Jackson, who has served at Exmouth Lifeboat Station since 1998. His blow by blow account in the chapter ‘Reason to Recover’ about a rescue of four young men whose boat had capsized in stormy conditions off the Exmouth coast in October 2011 is both captivating and inspiring.

It tells how he and two fellow crewmen, Mark Champion and Andy Williams, put themselves at significant risk as they rescued the casualties one by one in fearsome conditions that necessitated their return to the scene of the incident not once, but four times. All crewmen received official recognition of their bravery, and Roger was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry.

But as the title of the chapter suggests, Roger’s story goes much further. It tells of the role his being part of the RNLI family played in his recovery from a serious accident in which he risked losing both legs. It focuses on his realisation of that risk, how he might never walk again, or ever go back on a lifeboat, and his determination, despite 18 major operations, countless skin grafts and years of physiotherapy, to get back into RNLI service and prove the doctors wrong.

Roger said: 'I’m really pleased to be part of this amazing book and the insights it gives of the risks our RNLI volunteers take each time they launch a lifeboat. I hope my story goes some way to inspire others, especially during the current difficult times, where many find themselves suffering tragic circumstances, to always have a goal, look to the future, aim high and never give up.“

‘Surviving the Storms’, witha foreword written by the President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, HRH The Duke of Kent, is published by Harper Collins and available online from all good book stores. A royalty from each sale will be paid in support of the RNLI.

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.

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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.