In a talk at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall on December 3, local historian Tony Pawlyn will explore the story of lifeboats and lifeboat men in the days of sail and oar.
Mr Palwlyn's illustrated review will look at the early years of the RNLI and its predecessors around the Cornish coast.
He will also consider the concept of the "unimmergible" boat and the design of early life-boats, as well as the growing enthusiasm for the service in the latter part of the 19th century.
Mr Pawlyn said: "The extreme weather conditions of the last few days have reminded us all of the important work the RNLI does.
"This talk will be a great opportunity to explore the origins of the organisation in the early 19th century and the determination of its founders to save lives at sea."
The lecture, entitled Pulling and Sailing Lifeboats in Cornwall, is from 12.30pm at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall on Monday December 3 and costs £14.50, including a set lunch.
To book a place call 01326 214546.