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RNLI Flood Rescue Team help flood-hit communities in the South West

About the author

Image of Kirsti Pawlowski

Kirsti Pawlowski
PR Officer at Poole HQ.

Start quotegiven the unprecedented size and scale of this incident and the anticipated duration, the charity is assisting those communities affected in a ‘relief’ role, alongside other emergency servicesEnd quote

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Kirsti Pawlowski

The RNLI Flood Rescue Team have today (Sunday 16 February) been asked to assist with the flood relief effort in Somerset.

The team of 15 volunteers will be providing public safety advice, support and reassurance.  

Two teams, made up of lifeboat station volunteers from Wales and Somerset have been sent to the Taunton area of the county.  Whilst there is not considered to be a major threat to life in this region, the RNLI Flood Rescue Team (FRT) are specially trained in dealing with swift water, which behaves differently to sea water, and the challenges that it presents. 

The team also possess specialist equipment that enable them to work in flooded environments.  Traditionally, the FRT are called upon to assist in search and rescue during a flood incident, however, given the unprecedented size and scale of this incident and the anticipated duration, the charity is assisting those communities affected in a ‘relief’ role, alongside other emergency services. 

Robin Goodlad, Flood Response Manager at the RNLI, said: 'At a time when much of the country is suffering the effects of heavy rain and widespread flooding, the RNLI is pleased to be asked by the Fire and Rescue Service National Co-ordination Centre (FRSNCC) to assist with helping local communities get back on their feet - whether that's taking supplies, helping people from their homes or making areas safe.' 

Co-ordination of flood response in the UK is managed by the Fire and Rescue Service, with the RNLI and other teams on standby as a ‘second tier’ of relief, should the teams require it.  

On Friday two teams of RNLI volunteers were sent to the flood hit county of Berkshire, where they provided assistance and guidance to the local residents. 

Those teams have now been stood down and will return to Poole this afternoon, before returning home. This news release will be updated with images and video as we receive it.


RNLI media contacts
For queries outside of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789​​

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland