RNLI boat launch caught on camera

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Over recent weeks I’ve posted quite a bit of long-exposure photography. These are images that often require patience, practise and time to set up. On this occasion, however, I’m posting something entirely different: The moment an RNLI rescue boat was launched right in front of me.When this kind of unexpected event happens, you simply have to point, shoot and hope for the best.

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The moment an RNLI rescue boat was launched right in front of me. There was no time to prepare. I had to point, shoot and go for it.

It was an exciting moment. There was an announcement over a public address system and then a small bulldozer appeared from the RNLI Lifeboat Station (that’s Royal National Lifeboat Institute for any non-British readers) pushing the boat into the water.

I simply put my camera into burst mode and fired off shot after shot. With no notice this was going to happen, there was nothing else to do.

This action all happened on a recent visit to Hastings (when I took this image). The shot was taken just as the dinghy’s propeller entered the water. In fact, in the previous frame, you can still see the propeller as it hasn’t yet been submerged.

I like to think the image conveys a sense of excitement. The crew are obviously all concentrating very hard and you can see the wake in the water as the dinghy speeds off.

I’d be curious to know, do you think it conveys a sense of excitement? Do you think it works as an image as it all happened so fast I had no time to plan or take practise shots?

This is one of many images linked to the #MySundayPhoto linky hosted by the Photalife blog. I recommend clicking on the badge below and visiting the linky as it always features some great images.

Oh, and while I hate to burst the bubble, I later found out this launch was drill. Nobody was being rescued but it was still a very impressive event to witness.



26 thoughts on “RNLI boat launch caught on camera”

  1. I think it definitely has a sense of urgency about it – although I’m glad to hear it was only a drill. As we spend a fair bit of time in Cromer on the Norfolk coast we’ve seen the lifeboat launch several times (once from within the station itself) but I’ve never managed to capture a good image of it. Great work, John. #MySundayPhoto

    1. I think that guy is was concentrating on getting the engine going because of the way it was launched. And yes, I have many, many shots of this boat speeding off!

  2. Hi Darren, the angle of the boat and the business of the crew does give off a sense of excitement. I think shot in the moment photos can work as they are ‘here & now’, sometimes we tend to over think things, which does make for nice photos, but doesn’t always catch a moment.
    Well done for getting this shot. If it were me the boat would have been long gone!


  3. Considering the time and response I think, as always, that youve done brilliantly! Absolutely love it. The fact that it is clearly on a turn and can see the ruffles of water/wave definitely adds some excitement to the photo. I’m more interested in the other burst shots too and to see why you chose this one and to then see the action frame by frame. Great photo! Sorry I didnt comment last time but thought I would come and comment on this weeks instead! Looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s! #mysundayphoto

    1. I had plenty of shots to choose from Martyn, but I think this one was the image that I could frame the best against the harbour wall. If I could display every image in turn on a large wall, it would be fascinating to show every shot as the boat actually launched. If I were to be really honest, one or two of the images when the boat was slightly further out to sea would have been slightly more dramatic. Thanks for commenting Martyn!

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