About the RNLI

About RNLIThe Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea


We operate more than 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and RoI and have over 330 lifeboats in service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, our volunteer lifeboat crews have saved more than 139,000 lives – rescuing around 8,000 people every year.

Our seasonal lifeguard service now operates on more than 150 beaches in the UK. It responds to more than 13,000 incidents a year. Whether we’re rescuing an offshore fisherman or a child swept out to sea, the RNLI exists to save lives at sea.


As a charity, the RNLI relies on voluntary financial support including gift in wills, which fund 6 out of 10 launches. With more people using our beaches and seas, the demand on our services is greater than ever and our running costs average over £378,000 a day.


We offer a range of free resources and practical advice to promote sea, beach and commercial fishing safety and to support primary and secondary school teachers and youth group leaders. For further information call 0800 543210 or visit rnli.org.uk.

ordinary people, extraordinary acts

People from all walks of life help the RNLI to save lives at sea. Thousands of volunteer crew members, shore helpers, committee members and fundraisers give their time, skill and commitment. They are strongly supported by specialist staff.

Training is vital – it turns volunteers into lifesavers. Every year the RNLI delivers the highest quality of training at the Lifeboat College in Poole and at its lifeboat stations.


Our lifeguards work with lifeboat crews to provide a seamless rescue service from the beach to the open sea. When someone is drowning in the surf seconds count, so we need expert lifesavers on the beach ready to act. As much as 95% of our lifeguards’ work is preventative – that is, they look out for potential problems before they develop into something worse and they give proactive advice and information to beach goers.

The RNLI aims to continue expanding its lifeguard service – but we can’t achieve this without support.

Every year it costs at least £450 to equip and £580 to train each lifeguard – will you help us meet that need?

Phone 0800 543210 or go to rnli.org.uk to donate now and help save lives at sea. Thank you.