Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Five Years In And ‘Lifeboat Station Project’ Is Getting Closer To Completion

13th January 2020
Photographer Jack Lowe with his more-than-a-century-old camera alongside Castletownbere RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Annette Hutton Photographer Jack Lowe with his more-than-a-century-old camera alongside Castletownbere RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Annette Hutton Photo: Duncan Davis

Five years into his remarkable and challenging project to photograph all RNLI lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland with a Victorian-era camera, Jack Lowe has visited 147 stations and met more than 2,000 volunteers.

And it’s not over yet, as the West of Ireland and Scotland’s Western Isles are among those locations yet to be covered by The Lifeboat Station Project between now and the end of 2022.

They will add to the more than 35,000 miles he’s already covered with his trusty converted ambulance, ‘Neena’, which also serves as his mobile darkroom for the 19th-century wet plate collodion process he used to produce his distinct, monochrome images.

Last September, Lowe toured Northern Ireland to complete that 10-station leg of his mammoth undertaking.

Neena, the converted ambulance Jack Lowe uses as a mobile darkroom (Photo: RNLI)Neena, the converted ambulance Jack Lowe uses as a mobile darkroom | Photo: RNLI

That came almost a year after he reached the half-way mark in his project, shortly following his 100th station visit at Valentia — and at a time of self-doubt, before crowdfunding support provided the boost needed to see the rest of the task through.

At the same time, he’s expanded the scope of the project — including images of station mechanics and other key volunteers, as well as making sound recordings that go ‘behind the scenes’.

“Ultimately, I’m honoured beyond words to be making this archive,” Lowe says. “It’s a privilege spending time with so many lifeboat volunteers, preserving their bravery and devotion for future generations.”

The Lifeboat Station Project’s dedicated website has links to Lowe’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, as well as his Patreon campaign.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating