Drowning claims an estimated 400,000 lives around the world each year, over half of which are children. This is a conservative estimate – the actual number is likely to be much higher. An incredible 96% of these drownings happen in low- and middle-income countries.
Despite the scale of the problem, it is barely recognised – a silent epidemic. It’s hard to believe that this is not yet a global priority. We are working to change that.
Working in partnership with others, we are expanding our international work to provide communities with the knowledge, equipment and skills to try to reduce this staggering loss of life.
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We know drowning is preventable. In fact it’s as preventable as most diseases. A large proportion of global drownings occur in coastal locations, in floods, in rivers or in other large bodies of water – areas in which we have expertise in saving lives. Areas in which we can offer help.
We’re not setting up RNLI services overseas – we’re giving others the means to help themselves, by providing a range of services to other lifesaving and drowning prevention organisations. In each case, we assess their current capabilities and needs to decide how best we can help. This help might take the form of bespoke training, programme development or strategic guidance and advice.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2014.