Lorenzo reminded me about the Penlee Lifeboat disaster off the coast of Cornwall in 1981 in gale force conditions. 16 lives were lost, 8 from the coaster Union Star, and all 8 crew members of the Penlee Lifeboat, Solomon Browne. You can read the details of what happened here.
There's still a Penlee Lifeboat ready to brave the high seas at a moments notice. The crew are a fun-loving bunch, as you can see from this video. This just proves how courageous these chaps really are!
(Sorry I don't know how to bring a video into my blog, I've tried, but I'm doing something wrong.)