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“When you live by the sea and with the sea, things happen and that’s why we need lifeboats.”
— Neil Brockman, Penlee Coxswain 1993-2008

If you’re interested in the The Lifeboat Station Project and been following the journey so far, perhaps even from the very beginning, I imagine it’s quite likely that the penny dropped a while ago as to why I’m creating the photographs on these pages.

If you’re new to the work and the way I’m making it, welcome — it’s great to have you on board.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned follower, I’m hoping this blog post will provide you with an opportunity to unequivocally cement your interest by taking your understanding of what it all means to a new level.

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
From the BBC Four Documentary, “Cruel Sea: The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster”

You see, the Project is about to take its most poignant step so far; later this month I’ll be spending a full three days with Penlee Lifeboat Station in Cornwall, on the South Western tip of England:

  • Tuesday 22nd September: Penlee, current lifeboat station, Newlyn;
  • Wednesday 23rd September: Penlee, old lifeboat station, Mousehole;
  • Thursday 24th September: Trip on the Severn Class lifeboat Ivan Ellen to view the coastline from the sea.

There are various arrangements within the Penlee itinerary; stay tuned to the usual channels to see them unfold during my time there.

Towards the end of this post, you’ll find a BBC documentary entitled Cruel Sea: The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster.

By taking the opportunity to watch it, you’ll further understand why I’m so passionate about taking on such an enormous task.

I’ll leave the explanation of the desperate circumstances to those involved in the production of this powerful documentary. Suffice to say, on watching this film, you’ll understand the details, gravity and emotion behind this segment of Mission No.6 on the Project.

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
From the BBC Four Documentary, “Cruel Sea: The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster” — the Severn Class lifeboat passes the old boathouse at Mousehole…


Ultimately, I see The Lifeboat Station Project as a tribute to the RNLI volunteers who selflessly come to our aid if we run into trouble in and around the waters around our island nation.

The lifeboatmen and women aren’t doing it for money, they’re doing it because they want to, because they see it as a calling.

In doing so, however, there’s always the risk that something can go drastically wrong — as it did at Penlee — yet still our Lifeboat volunteers continue to help keep our waters safe.

The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe
From the BBC Four Documentary, “Cruel Sea: The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster”



Print sales, pre-orders and contributions keep The Lifeboat Station Project on the road. In the case of such a long journey to Penlee, your support will help me make the photographs at such a special point on the RNLI network:



I’d like to thank all those who’ve supported the Project to this point — it’s truly moving to see so many of you recognising the value in the photographs I’m making.

Remember, although the RNLI are supporting me logistically, I’m currently raising the funding under my own steam — in essence, my own form of crowdfunding.


  1. Poignant and moving post Jack. Looking forward to seeing the Cornwall plates – wishing you great success on the next stage of the journey, Jane

  2. My dad was friends with most of the men who lost their lives on that fateful night, I love the photos of the old lifeboat hut – my dream to go there but alas it’s never open when I’m in Cornwall! You are a very talented man jack and I hope one day I will get to own one of your photos, but at the moment I can only manage a screen shot of Dudley and Raymond on my phone x

    • Thank you for your kind words, Gemma. Particularly given the context, I do hope you’ll manage to stretch to a print one day — but don’t leave it too long! You may be interested to know there’s a way to spread the cost on my ‘Become a Supporter’ page. Best wishes and thanks again, Jack

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