During Victorian times the basic method of lifeboat rescue in Ramsgate went something like this:- Ship gets into some sort of trouble usually on the Goodwin Sands, which were known in ancient times as “The great shippe swallower” – The maroons were fired and the lifeboat crew man the lifeboat – The Ramsgate steam tug tows the lifeboat upwind of the vessel in distress and lets the lifeboat go over the shallow water of the Goodwins – The lifeboat crew row the lifeboat to the vessel in distress while the tug races round the Goodwins – The lifeboat rescues any survivors – Rows to the deep water on the other side of the Goodwins where the steam tug takes it in tow – The tug tows the lifeboat back into Ramsgate Harbour.
Back in Victorian times during stormy nights the lifeboatmen often waited for the maroons to go up in the rectory of Holy Trinity and the vicar wrote down some of their accounts of rescues, click on this link if you want to read some http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/storm
I publish a modern reprint, which you will find on the shelves of my bookshop in Ramsgate, it’s also available on the internet at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/id333.htm as you see captioning one picture properly can be a bit of a palava
Ramsgate lifeboat skippers. From left to right, Tom Cooper1963-74, Douglas Kirkldie 1946-52 and Arthur Verrion 1952-63.