Superb blog tinged with tragedy, and, as always told with clarity and sympathy. For all the improvements in hardware and technology, RNLI operations can still be phenomenally dangerous. Operating in those conditions, that close to shore… Reading the account reminded me of The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger (great book, but don’t bother with the film) – notably how the weather so quickly overtook the ability of rescue services to survive, let alone attempt to rescue those out in it. Hard to overstate the admiration the lifeboat crews deserve. It must have been a catastrophic event that caused her total loss, and it’s a little unsettling that we’ll never know, but in 60ft breakers, having already been smashed against the Union Star’s hull, it must have taken unimaginable courage for the crew to continue, knowing full well what could happen. The fact that they so nearly succeeded in saving lives makes it all the more heartbreaking.
I was surprised to read that the type of lifeboat of which Solomon Browne belonged was the last evolution of a basic design introduced in 1919 as a sailing and pulling lifeboat. Very reliable, stable and strong design.