The seas, beaches and waterways watched over by our lifesavers are enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
But the water remains an unpredictable environment that can catch people out.
People will always need our help and – thanks to you – we will always be there to answer that call.
Last year, our lifeboat crews saved 348 lives.
That’s 348 people who wouldn’t be here today without their help, countless friends and family who would never have been the same again.
In 2015 volunteers launched 8,228 times around the coast of the UK and Ireland, rescuing an average of 22 people a day.
One of the 8,228 launches in 2015 was a dangerous shout for two of our crews in January. Gale force winds, 7-8m swell and poor visibility were all faced as Troon and Giryan lifeboat crews launched to rescue a trawler in trouble. Despite the extreme conditions, the two lifeboat crews used all of their training, experience and communication skills to work together to get the trawler back safely with no lives lost.
As our frontline rescue service continued to keep thousands safe, we also looked at how to support and sustain it long into the future.
2015 saw excellent progress in our plans for a 25-knot all-weather lifeboat fleet, which will provide every station with a faster, more capable craft. The opening of the All-weather Lifeboat Centre in August means we can now build our specialised lifeboats in-house. We also built a new station for Portishead lifeboat and a permanent base for Enniskillen’s Carrybridge volunteers on Upper Lough Erne.
Our lifeguards watched over 15.5M beach goers and aided 18,000 of them in 2015. We'll never know how many more tragedies they prevented through warnings and advice.
In May, three Mawgan Porth Beach lifeguards acted quickly to save the life of Sean Ashton, who suffered from a cardiac arrest whilst jogging along the beach. Thanks to their quick response, the lifeguards managed to keep the man alive until paramedics arrived to take over. ‘You have given a 3-year-old her daddy back,’ was the message from Sean’s grateful wife after the incident.
In August, Lifeguard Ray Cunningham spotted an 8-year-old bodyboarder drifting almost 50m out to sea in a rip at Downhill Strand, Co Londonderry. With the young lad close to exhaustion, Ray used his rescue board to bring the shaken boy to safety.
Thanks to the training and equipment you’ve helped provide, lifeguards were always ready, throughout the Summer.
Flood rescue volunteers are used to forming new teams at a moment’s notice, often with people they’ve just met.
In December 2015, six people were stranded for 12 hours in a bungalow near Kendal, penned in by fast-flowing water at the height of the Cumbria floods. RNLI volunteers arrived on the scene and acted quickly to rescue those stuck inside, including two very scared young boys.
Hundreds of volunteers stood by around the UK, often spending long hours on standby, away from their homes, ready to help out in the floods. Your support kept them as warm and dry as possible in miserable conditions.
Our national campaign spread its message further than ever in Summer 2015, reaching adult men aged 16-39-year-old men and encouraging everyone not to underestimate the power of the water.
Eighty-nine per cent of UK men in the target age range saw at least one element of the campaign last summer. Shocking cinema adverts were viewed 7M times, a breathtaking interactive website and #RespectTheWater conversations trended on social media. 80% of those surveyed said they would rethink their abilities in the water and take more care around it because of the campaign.
This was lifesaving powered by you.
Your support today will help train and equip our lifesavers so that they're ready for anything.
If you’d like to find out a bit more about 2015 in numbers, read our Annual Review.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Registered charity number 20003326 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 and copyright © RNLI 2015.