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Lifeboat launch alerts

Image of Newcastle all-weather lifeboat crew running to the lifeboat.

​Would you like to know when your local RNLI lifeboat goes out on a shout?

Keep in touch wherever you are by signing up for lifeboat launch SMS alerts. Or, if you download our Desktop Pager, you can keep up with our crews while working at your computer.

Select the stations you wish to follow - and when the crew gets the call, you will too.  

    Be notified of RNLI lifeboat launches as they happen.

    A new verion of the RNLI pager has been released (20/07/2012 Version 1.3.1) with some fixes and new stations added. This new pager will require Adobe Air for the pager to work which can be downloaded by clicking the icon below or starting the installer once downloaded.

    The desktop pager launches and beeps when we have been notified of a launch:

    • keep informed of the latest launches
    • Choose to monitor all stations or selected stations
    • includes an information banner telling you of latest RNLI information
    • set it up to start up when your computer is switched on
    • needs internet access to monitor launches

    Available versions

    • Mac - This version works with OS X10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) (1.3.1)
    • Windows - This covers XP, Vista and Windows 7 (1.3.1)

    Note: The RNLI has tested this application on all mainstream/leading operating systems including Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7. However, due to the wide range of computer formats currently available we cannot guarantee that it will work satisfactorily in all instances. For this reason we are also unable to provide support for this application.

    Due to operational reasons, the desktop pager notifies you of launches after the launch has happened. In some cases the delay in the notification can be up to an hour.

    Please note the pager is for PC and Mac and not mobile devices or tablets example; iPod, iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone

    sms alertsv2.jpgBe notified on your mobile phone of RNLI lifeboat launches.​

    SMS alerts are triggered by the same pager system that notifies the lifeboat’s volunteer crew members. This means that people who sign up to the service will know exactly when their local lifesavers have been called out.

    However, unlike the crew members who can be summoned at any time, day or night, subscribers to the service can decide when they’d like to receive alerts and set a limit on how many messages they receive.

    • Keep informed of the latest lifeboat launches.

    • Choose which stations you would like to follow – you can keep up to date with your favourite station or more than one lifeboat station.

    • You will be charged 25p for each notification message received, where a portion of the fee will go to the RNLI - so not only do the alerts keep local people informed, but they are also contributing to the real cost of the lifeboat launch. The amount donated depends on your mobile operator, but everyone who signs up to the scheme will be helping to raise vital funds for the RNLI.

    It is also possible to pause the service for a while, for example, while going abroad on holiday.

    And to stop the alerts, simply reply STOP to one of the alerts that you have already received.

    So, keep in touch with text alerts and sign up for the service now!

    Sign up now

    Note: This service is available for UK billing networks only.


    The SMS launch alerts are directly linked to our crew pagers. When the crew are mustered by a pager call, it triggers an SMS launch alert. However, there are occasions when lifeboats launch without being paged. This could be because they are on exercise, are attending in support of another lifeboat or because the crew have been summoned by other means.

    The SMS launch alerts can therefore best be taken as an indication of lifeboat activity rather than a definitive account of launches.

    Due to operational reasons, the SMS launch alerts notifies you of launches after the launch has happened. In some cases the delay in the notification can be more than half an hour.

    Terms and conditions for this service.

    What is the RNLI SMS launch alert service?

    This service notifies you of lifeboats that have launched. The service is connected to the system that pages the lifeboat crew.

    How do I sign up?

    Sign up for this service online. As part of the process, you will choose the lifeboat stations you want to follow and will be charged 25p for each launch alert you receive from these stations. Once you have chosen your preferences and given your mobile phone number and details, you will receive an SMS, to which you need to reply. This confirms the telephone number is correct and the phone is in your possession.

    Do I need a special phone to receive alerts?

    No, this service will work on any phone that is used for SMS messaging.

    How do I stop receiving launch alerts?

    You can stop receiving launch alerts in two ways:

    1. Reply to a launch alert with a message saying 'stop'.

    2. On this website, you can log in and choose to stop receiving notifications.

    How much do the alerts cost to receive?

    You will be charged 25p for each SMS received.  

    How do I log in to manage my alerts?

    Log in with your mobile phone number and PIN. If you have forgotten your PIN you can ask for a new one to be sent.

    Do I receive an alert as soon as the lifeboat hits the water?

    For operational reasons, there is currently a 20-minute delay on the alerts you receive. Delays beyond our control can sometimes occur with the mobile phone service.

    What are the terms and conditions of the service?

    ​View the terms and conditions of this service. Note that this service is only available to UK mobile phones.

    Why must I verify my phone number?

    To make sure that only you set up alerts for your mobile phone, we ask you to verify your mobile telephone number.​

    If I go on holiday, can I pause the alerts for a period of time?

    Yes, you can pause the service for a specified period of time. Log in with your mobile phone number and PIN and choose 'Pause service'.

    How do I check which stations I'm watching?

    Log in with your mobile phone number and PIN. Your chosen stations will show on the 'My settings' page.​

    Can I choose which days of the week I receive alerts?

    No. You can only choose the time of day.​

    How much of the alert cost does the RNLI receive?

    This depends on the mobile phone service provider you use, however for every 25p alert you get, the RNLI will receive between 7p and 10.5p. The rest of the money goes to the network service provider.​

    What happens when I reach my maximum weekly cost limit?

    Once you reach your maximum spend you will receive no more alerts, regardless of launches, until the following week.​

    Can I sign up on my friend's behalf?

    ​No. You need to be the owner of the mobile phone or have the permission of the mobile phone owner. As part of the sign-up process you will receive an SMS, to which you will need to respond.

    Does a week run from the day I sign up?

    ​No, a week runs from Monday to Sunday.

    What should I do if I change my mobile phone number?

    Log in with your old number and choose to "Cancel service". You will then have to sign up again on the new phone. It is necessary for you to confirm the subscription on the new phone number.