In 1851, a set of regulations covering the operation of lifeboat stations was circulated around the coast to ensure efficient and safe running of the rescue service.
By 1872, these regulations were bound in green, soon becoming known as the Green Book. The Green Book has only just been superseded in the past year by an intranet of policies and guidance available to 21st century volunteer crews via their laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
Lewis’s legal background would have been invaluable in producing the regulations and ensuring their clarity, and many still remain in place today. The directness of his drafting is certainly impressive:
'On boarding wrecks, the preservation of life is the sole consideration. Should any goods or merchandise be brought into the lifeboat, contrary to the Coxswain’s remonstrance, his first business is to throw them overboard.'
We assume that this meant the goods and not the errant volunteer crew member.