by MARK DODD
BOND tells the extraordinary history of the proud Caister lifeboatmen.
history and a long tradition of saving lives exists among lifeboat
communities across the length and breadth of the country.
one volunteer crew, the spirit of dogged determination has grown
beyond the simple desire to save lives – to a need, literally,
to keep their own boat afloat. Caister
Volunteer Rescue Service in Norfolk was Britain’s first privately-run
lifeboat station and operates the country’s only offshore lifeboat,
independent of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
off the coast of Norfolk at Caister are among the most dangerous
waters around Britain. The treacherous network of channels and
banks has claimed the lives of thousands of mariners, fishermen
history of life-saving, now an integral part of the village,
began in the late 18th century, when a company of beachmen was
set up to operate a salvage and rescue business.
By 1845, the Norfolk Shipwrecked Mariners’ Association had placed
a lifeboat in Caister, and beach company members were asked
to crew it. Then, in 1856, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
took over the running of what was, by then, a fully-fledged