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About Respect the Water

British and Irish waters are dangerously unpredictable. Over 200 people accidentally die each year around our coast. We want to change this.

The RNLI has a goal to halve the number of coastal drownings by 2024. Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign and will play a key role in helping us to achieve this.

We still want you to enjoy the water, but we also want you to Respect the Water, acknowledge its dangers and never underestimate its power.


In 2015, Respect the Water will be bigger than ever. You’ll see Respect the Water adverts in cinemas, on billboards and online, and hear it on the radio around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

We are also working closely with communities around the coast, so you may also see our messages in lifeboat stations and local pubs.

This year's campaign

The water might look inviting, but there are hidden dangers that can be fatal if not respected.

This year, our messages focus on three main risks that catch people out:

• Cold water shock can steal the air from your lungs and leave you helpless.

• The water can be unpredictable, with waves, tides and hidden currents that can drag you out to sea in seconds.

• Around half the people who drown never expected to get wet – many get caught out by unexpected slips, trips and falls into the water.

See for yourself

Watch our films:


Immerse yourself in our interactive experiences and discover the power of the water:

 British and Irish waters are dangerously unpredictable

 Advice to help you stay safe

British and Irish waters are dangerously unpredictable. You might think that adrenaline sports and rough weather pose the greatest threat, but casual, everyday activities around the coast can cause fatalities. Learn about the risks and how to stay safe.

Whatever your activity, and whatever your ability, the water can always catch you out. It's very easy to underestimate its power. Stay safe, be prepared, and Respect the Water.