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Hidden Depths: Women of the RNLI [Paperback]

Sue Hennessy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

8 Oct 2010

Rain speared down from black skies, a howling freezing gale tore at the roots of the fishermen’s cottages by the shoreline, a boiling sea was thundering ashore with huge combers breaking over the rocks in a fury of spume. Out there tossing and corkscrewing among the huge waves lay the entire fishing fleet of Newbiggin, among them almost the entire lifeboat crew. Today was to be the day the women of Newbiggin, the fishermen’s wives, saved their men folk.

For over 180 years images of strong, selfless males have populated the reports and literature of the lifeboat service. What has not been so well documented or recognised are the roles that, right from the very beginning, women have played in working to save lives at sea. The stereotypical image is of women waiting in the lifeboat house for their men to return – brewing tea and giving encouragement and solace to each other. Look more deeply and it becomes clear that women have always been at the heart of the RNLI RNLI operation, undertaking a wide range of tasks which draw upon their distinctive skills and talents. From Victorian times right through to the twenty-first century, women have always been ‘strong to save’.

The RNLI is alive with outstanding women working alongside equally outstanding men, ensuring that as many people as possible who find themselves in trouble, either on or by the sea, live rather than drown. In Hidden Depths: Women of the RNLI, we begin to understand what magnificent feats of strength and teamwork these courageous and dedicated women have performed and still do.



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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (8 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752454439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752454436
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sue Hennessy was the Founder Principal of The Lifeboat College, which opened in 2004, where crew volunteers are trained. She retired from running the college in 2008 to write, walk, garden, and volunteer for other good causes.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hidden Depths: Women of the RNLI 12 Jan 2011
Sue Hennessy brings to life untold maritime stories of heroism, courage and devotion. She provides gripping and sometimes moving accounts of cruel and tragic events affecting the RNLI women, their families and communities. The breathtaking stoicism and modesty accompanying their achievements leaves the reader humbled and deeply respectful. The text undertakes a fascinating historical journey through the centuries. It also seeks to give an insight into the modern workings of a cutting edge world class lifeboat service of today. If you thought you knew everything about the RNLI and the foundations upon which it is built, then think again. You need to appreciate the grace and beauty of this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent buy 19 Dec 2013
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Good read but not in one go. There is so much to take in. Very good illustrations and obviously a lot of research went into compiling this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read 4 Jun 2011
I should start by stating that Sue is my cousin, but please don't let that make you believe that I am writing this out of any loyalty, or that I was asked to 'write something nice'. Perhaps there was a little bit of loyalty in my decision to purchase in the first place, but that's where it ended!

I first became aware of Sue's ambition to write this book some years ago from my now late father, one sadness is that he didn't survive long enough to see it himself.

Quite simply this is a fascinating account of true stories concerning the hundreds of thousands of women who have in some way contributed to the great RNLI cause during the last century or so. Several of the stories literally grip you, others surprise you, but all leave you with a bit more knowledge and food for thought as to what has gone on and still is.

Any female with the slightest interest in our history will gain a lot of inspiration from this book, any man will be left in some wonderment as to what can be achieved by the so-called 'weaker sex'.

Buy it and read it, I don't think you will be disappointed, and even if by some unlikely chance you don't enjoy it, at least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed a little to one of the most worthwhile causes in the country.

Stephen Williamson
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5.0 out of 5 stars RNLI 21 Jan 2011
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This excellent book details the contribution of women to the RNLI from women launchers in the 1800s.to shore crew, to inshore lifeboat crew in 1969 and finally in 1981 to all weather crew.
Many tales of heroic rescues are recorded as are the personal accounts of present day women crew members.
Also listed are bravery medals,means of funding and donations,and the interests of the Royal Family in the RNLI
Excellent pictures and text.This book should be read in conjunction with "Riders of the Storm"-a history of the RLNI.
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