The lifeboats of Valentia have been in service since 1946, when the volunteer crew were summoned to action by the firing of maroon flares. Dick Robinson has been associated with the lifeboat station for almost 60 of those years, firstly as a child watching the flares, then as a serving crewmember, and finally as a maritime historian. In this detailed history, he captures the spirit of the station, together with the tragedies and sacrifices that make up its history. Valentia Lifeboats: A History, has been compiled using the first-hand accounts, original and rare images, and detailed records of the station. It is a fitting tribute to the people who have served here, and will be a record of the station for many years to come.
On 23 June 1985, Air India Flight 182, a Boeing 747-237B was on its way from Montreal, Canada, to London when it was blown up while in Irish airspace, and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. 329 people perished. It was the largest mass murder in modern Canadian history. The explosion and downing of the carrier was related to the Narita Airport Bombing. Investigation and prosecution took 25 years. The suspects in the bombing were members of the Sikh separatist Babbar Khalsa. Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only person convicted, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Valentia is an island off the coast of county Kerry. It has been the home of farmer-fishermen and technocrats alike, the site of a large slate and flagstone mine, one of the first meteorological stations, and of the first trans-Atlantic cable messages sent and received. The author traces the history of the island and describes life as it is today.
A dynamic retelling of the deadly 1906 sinking of the SS Valencia off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, one of the worst maritime disasters in Canadian history. There are few places on earth that have such a high record of marine casualties as the short yet treacherous stretch of coastline known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the fifty-six kilometres between Port Renfrew and Cape Beale off Vancouver Island saw dozens of shipwrecks and claimed hundreds of lives. On a blustery night in late January 1906, the steamship SS Valencia, heading from San Francisco to Seattle and Victoria, met its tragic fate on the rocks near Pachena Point. With over one hundred passengers and sixty-five crew members on board, only thirty-seven people survived the wreck. All of the women and children perished. With journalistic precision, compassion for the victims, and condemnation for those who neglected to prevent the tragedy, author Michael C. Neitzel recounts the Valencia’s ill-fated final voyage, drawing heavily on first-hand accounts of the survivors and witnesses. The Final Voyage of the Valencia is a must-read for anyone interested in the maritime history of Canada’s west coast.