The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how you got into trouble, if you need help at sea, RNLI lifeboat volunteers will be there for you. The RNLI provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland. In 2018 alone, crews launched over 8,900 times and helped over 9,400 people.
Most RNLI volunteer crew members don’t have a nautical background, so they receive world-class training from the charity, which gives them the vital skills to save lives, as well as confidence in each other and their lifesaving equipment. Crews get the best kit, lifeboats, equipment and facilities the RNLI can provide.
On the beach, every second counts, which is why since 2001 the RNLI has also operated seasonal lifeguard patrols at beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. Highly trained and equipped, RNLI lifeguards spot danger as it develops and respond instantly. They also provide safety advice and a reassuring presence on the beach. Last year, RNLI lifeguards responded to over 19,400 incidents and helped over 32,200 people.
While the RNLI helps thousands of people, tragically, around 150 people still drown accidentally in UK and Irish waters every year. Through drowning prevention work and campaigning, the RNLI aims to halve this number by 2024.
It’s not just these shores the RNLI is keeping safe. Globally, around 360,000 people drown every year. The RNLI is helping other lifesaving organisations to tackle drowning in their own countries. Through work such as supporting lifeguard training in Bangladesh and implementing children’s swim-survival lessons in Tanzania, the RNLI and its partners are putting lifesaving into the hands of local communities.
How you can help/get involved
As a registered charity independent from government, the RNLI relies on the generosity of the public to fund its lifesaving work.
One-off donations, RNLI membership, online shopping and gifts in wills can all make a lifesaving difference. Six out of ten lifeboat launches are funded entirely by legacies.
To find out more, visit RNLI.org