Sir William Hillary letter recorded to mark RNLI anniversary

Sir William Hillary courtesy RNLI Sir William Hillary settled on the Isle of Man

Related Stories

A recording of a letter written from the Isle of Man nearly 200 years ago by Royal National Lifeboat Institution founder Sir William Hillary has been made available online.

The words were part of an appeal which led to the formation of the charity.

In it, Sir William calls for men to "risk their own lives for those whom they have never known or seen".

RNLI operations director Michael Vlasto said a lot of those initial principals were still relevant today.

He said: "He wanted to use the most up to date technology and techniques to make a lifesaving service that was as safe and efficient as possible for the people who put their lives at risk to save others in trouble at sea, and that's at the heart of what the RNLI does now.

"The other great thing that he did was to bring a number of independent lifeboat stations together under one umbrella organisation so that they could share this expertise, laying the foundations for a world-leading lifeboat service."

The recording of Sir William's letter, written on 28 February 1823, can be heard on the RNLI website.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Isle of Man



17 °C 13 °C


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • groynes at ClactonRunning the rule

    Will Clacton's voters opt for UKIP over the Tories?

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexTiny shipyard Watch

    The art of making boats out of coffee stirrers

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.