For fourteen years, as Missions to Seamen Chaplain for the Downs, the author of this book saw much of the Deal boatmen. For ten years he was also the Honorary Secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the Goodwin Sands and Downs Branch. He joined the three lifeboats afloat at night and in storm, that are stationed right opposite the treacherous Goodwin Sands, at Deal, Walmer, and Kingsdown. With these opportunities of observation, he has written accurate accounts of a few of the brave rescues effected on those infamous sands by the boatmen he knows so well. Each case is authenticated by names and dates; the position of the wrecked vessel is exactly given, and the handling and manoeuvring of the lifeboat accurately described, from a sailor’s point of view. The descriptions of the sea – of Nature in some of her most tremendous aspects, of the breakers on the Goodwins – and of the stubborn courage of the men who man our lifeboats still fall short of the reality. Each incident occurred as it is related, and is factually correct. The Deal boatmen are almost as mute as the fishes of the sea respecting their own deeds of daring and mercy on the Goodwin Sands. It is but justice to those humble heroes of the Kentish coast that an attempt should have been made to tell some part of their brave story.
Rev. Thomas Stanley Treanor, MA
Usually despatched Next Day
2001. SB. N & M Press reprint (original 1893). 256pp b/w illustrations
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