On a small rocky island off the north coast of England stands a lighthouse. A man named William Darling was once the keeper of this lighthouse, and his daughter Grace lived with him. Every day, Grace Darling helped her father polish the lamps so that they would shine brightly at night and warn sailors to steer their ships away from the dangerous rocks, which would otherwise dash them to pieces.
One stormy night, Grace woke up to the sound of shouting in her ears. The shouting was coming from the sea, so she knew that a ship must be in distress. She woke her father, but they could see nothing in the darkness. When it became light, they discovered that a ship had foundered somewhere far away on the rocks and that a few people were clinging to the masts.
Grace immediately wanted to jump in the boat to rescue them, but her father held her back because the wind and sea were very fierce, and he was afraid that the small boat would capsize in the large waves. But Grace ran to the boat and grabbed an oar because she could not bear to let the poor men die without trying to save them. Her father could not leave his brave daughter alone, so he followed, and they rowed away.
It was hard work rowing against the strong sea, and several times the boat was almost swamped. But finally, the rowboat reached the wreck, and William Darling managed to land on the rock. Then, with great care and skill, he helped the half-frozen people into the small boat. They were then taken to the lighthouse, where Grace warmed and fed them until the storm subsided and they could return to their homes.