RNLI & Sir William Hillary

In the middle of Douglas Harbour is ‘The Tower of Refuge’ This was built following the wreck of the St. George. Sir William Hillary commanded the lifeboat, which, with some difficulty and risk to life, managed to rescue the crew of the St. George.

He then had this tower built, both from his own funds and by public subscription. It used to be provisioned with bread and water.  (Where’s the brandy?)


Sir William’s main claim to fame is being the founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute in 1824.

Like a lot of seafarers I donate money to the RNLI, a true charity that takes no money from the government and does a tremendous job round the coast of the UK. As do similar organisations around the world.

It should also be remembered that there are also independent lifeboat organisations round that would like the odd £ or ££.

To finish here is Kapowai in Stornoway with the RNLI Severn Class lifeboat ‘Tom Sanderson’.


Similar design, forward pilot house, all weather, good stability. They have bigger engines we have a beer fridge and an ice maker. The big difference is we can choose to stay, they choose to go.

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