‘We might not be coming back from this one’

After three decades and on the eve of retirement, an RNLI crew member looks back on events immortalised in an iconic photo.

‘We might not be coming back from this one’

Ian Watson’s famous picture of lifeboat Richard Evans setting off from Portrush harbour.

Peter Winter


Peter Winter



IF there is one image that best captures the courage of RNLI volunteers, it’s the photo taken on the afternoon of February13, 1989.

Into the teeth of a North Atlantic gale, a 17m lifeboat exits Portrush harbour and crests a wave twice the height of the harbour wall.

The mission's outcome overshadowed by the crew's willingness risk their lives in an unimaginably hostile environment – unimaginable were not for that iconic photo.

And they all lived to tell the tale. Though only just.

Including one man on board that afternoon who, 32 years on, delivers his own terrifying account to mark his retirement from active lifeboat duty.

*Full story in this week's Chronicle*

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