ON this day (March 4th) in 1824 the RNLI – the charity which saves lives at sea – was founded by Sir William Hillary.
The charity was originally called the ‘National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck’ – but was changed in 1854 to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
An independent charity funded by voluntary donation, the RNLI provides a 24 hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from its 236 lifeboat stations situated around the British/Irish coastline.
The Western Isles are home to three of those stations – with Leverburgh RNLI Lifeboat Station in Harris the newest established, being set up for a one-year trial in May 2012.
Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat Station last year celebrated its 125th anniversary, being opened in 1887; and Barra Island RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1931 to ensure life-saving coverage from the Butt to Barra.
Since being founded in 1824, the RNLI has saved over 140,000 lives, so shout it loud: Happy 189th Birthday RNLI!
For more information about this vital charity, including how to make a donation, please visit www.rnli.org