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All at Sea

An exhibition exploring the Isle of Man’s maritime heritage and celebrating the 200th anniversary of the RNLI.

  • Date 17/02/2024 — 26/01/2025
  • Time 9.30am - 4.30pm daily
  • Location House of Manannan

A new exhibition exploring the Isle of Man’s remarkable maritime heritage and honouring the 200th anniversary of the RNLI is now open at the House of Manannan.  ‘All at Sea’ uncovers some of the tragic events in Manx waters which motivated Manx resident, Sir William Hillary to establish a national maritime lifesaving institution.

The story of the Herring Fleet Disaster features in the exhibition in which thirty-six men and fifty boats were lost in Douglas on 20 September 1787.  Just one incident of thousands in only 12 nautical miles of Manx waters, ‘All at Sea’ presents stories of some of those shipwrecks and their inextricable link to the foundation of today’s RNLI.

Two hundred years ago, Hillary’s mission was to ensure the preservation of life, to assist vessels in distress, to preserve vessels and property, to prevent plunder, to support those rescued and to provide suitable rewards for rescuers.  His was a vision to save all at sea.

An eyewitness to the hardships during and after sea rescues, Hillary himself helped save an estimated five hundred lives in Manx waters.  These events directly influenced his idea for what would become one of the most respected organisations in the world.

Event location: House of Manannan

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