Light in the darkness: a history of lightships and the people who served on them by Liam Clarke. This 160 page paperback examines the origins of the lightship services of Great Britain and Ireland, the obstacles and prejudices that faced originators of the idea and the subsequent development of the vessels and working practices over the years.
Dr Clarke has certainly been dedicated in his extensive research and uses in many places his own illustrations.
Since Hamblin’s lightship of 1731 the dangerous occupation of lightsman has claimed the lives of a number of crews and those who tried to save them in peace and in war. The lives and working conditions of the brave men who put their lives at risk guiding ships safely to their ports without peril, has been almost forgotten although some of the ships in which they fared continue to serve the mariner in an automated state monitored from shore. Indeed, some have hulls half a century old, testament surely, to sound materials and good ship husbandry.
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