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Running costs

​Keeping a modern fleet of lifeboats ever-ready to go to the rescue from over 230 lifeboat stations is an expensive business. Add to that crew training, running a lifeguard service on more than 200 popular beaches and campaigning for water safety, and the pounds start to add up.

It costs around £410,000 a day to run the RNLI, all of which is generously donated by the public. This might sound like a lot, but we think the 24 people rescued a day (on average) are worth it. Below is a breakdown of the costs of our rescue kit; for more detailed information see our annual report.

Lifeboat fleet

Tamar class​


Shannon class​


B class​


D class ​


E class ​


Hovercraft ​



Lifeboat crew kit





Waterproof trousers (all-weather lifeboat crew)​


Waterproof jacket (all-weather lifeboat crew)


Drysuit, including boots (inshore lifeboat crew)


Thermal undersuit (inshore lifeboat crew)


​Thermal top


Lifejacket (all-weather lifeboat crew)


​Helmet ​£198

Lifeguard fleet

Rescue watercraft​

£9,000            ​

Inshore rescue boat​


Patrol vehicle


All-terrain vehicle​


Lifeguard kit


Full wetsuit​