Atmospheric shots of crews and fundraisers around the coast

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This shot of four lifeboatmen involved in a search for a missing yacht is from a new book and exhibition showing the work of the RNLI.

The stunning shots have all been taken by professional photographer Nigel Millard, who is also a volunteer crew member on his local Torbay lifeboat in Devon.

Nigel visited RNLI lifeboat stations and lifeguards around the UK and Ireland over two years to capture the shots. He carried a pager that alerted him to shouts – lifeboat launches – so he could shoot the volunteer crew members in action.

The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts, published by Conway, is written by former Curator at the National Maritime Museum and historian Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, with the foreword by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

A selection of images from the book will form a touring exhibition, travelling to locations including London, Southampton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Dublin and Birmingham.

See our selection of atmospheric and moving shots from the new RNLI book

Nigel said: ‘My favourite photo is a casualty’s eye view. I’ve been a man overboard on exercises and once in the water, you see nothing, then just a tiny bit of orange, and it’s not the sun, it’s a lifeboat.’

Dr Lewis-Jones, who accompanied Nigel on many of his photoshoots, said: ‘It’s a way of reminding people in the British Isles that they are only ever 70 miles from the sea – we may all need the RNLI’s help.

‘The photos are a collection of what the RNLI family means, the true spirit of the RNLI – ordinary people doing extraordinary things.’

The book’s publication date is 30 September. It can be pre-ordered and is available direct from the RNLI (www.rnlishop.org) as well as good bookshops and stockists including Waterstones, Foyles and WH Smiths and Amazon UK.

My Coast photography competition
In partnership with Epson, the RNLI is running a photography competition, called My Coast.

The charity is challenging photographers to capture what the varied and beautiful coasts of the British Isles mean to them. The winner will be given a large format print of an image of their choice from the Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts exhibition, signed by the photographer Nigel Millard, and a photo quality Epson colour printer.

A short-list of 10 entries will be selected by Nigel Millard. He will be looking for striking images that encapsulate the photographer’s experience of the British Isles coastlines and something of their relationship with the sea. The short-list will then go forward for a public vote on the RNLI’s Facebook page.

The closing date is Monday 31 March 2014 and the winner will be notified by Monday 5 May 2014.

Entry information is available at www.rnli.org/courageonourcoasts

The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts by Nigel Millard & Huw Lewis-Jones. Published by Conway – RRP £25.

www.rnli.org