Created during the nineteenth century at a time when loss of life from shipwreck was almost on a scale of national disaster, volunteer life brigades did much to improve the lives of seamen, providing an invaluable rescue service against the hazardous conditions in which they worked. Established in 1877, Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade, one of just three remaining volunteer life brigades in the UK, has been saving lives around the treacherous rth-east coastline ever since, totalling over 800 to date. Featuring a wealth of previously unpublished photographs, author Kathleen Gill, a director of Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade, takes the reader on a fascinating journey from its roots right up to the present day. Detailing the story of the unsung heroes who volunteered for service and those who supported the work of the brigade, she also features comprehensive accounts of some of the rescues which have been undertaken and the way in which the brigade has developed to provide its modern-day service. Enthusiasts of maritime history as well as those interested in the history of the rth-east will find in this book a fascinating account of a community that united to protect its sailors against the perils of the sea.