Running costs

It cost £181.5M in 2019 to run our lifesaving service – all funded by our generous supporters.

Keeping a modern fleet of lifeboats ever-ready to go to the rescue from over 238 lifeboat stations is an expensive business. Add to that crew training, running a lifeguard service on more than 240 popular beaches and campaigning for water safety, and the pounds start to add up.

It cost £181.5M for the RNLI to run in 2019, all of which was generously donated by the public. This might sound like a lot, but we think the 23 people our lifeboat crews rescue on average every day are worth it. Below is a breakdown of the costs of our rescue kit; for more detailed information see our Annual Report and Accounts.


Equipment (2017 costs) Pound sterling Euros
Gloves £20 €27
Boots £54 €73
Waterproof trousers £249 €339
Waterproof jacket £349 €475
Drysuit, including boots £750 €1,020
Thermal undersuit £225 €306
Thermal top £50 €68
Lifejacket £458 €624
Helmet £263 €358

Lifeboat Fleet

Lifeboat Class Pound sterling Euros
Shannon class £2.1M €2.4M
B class £276,000 €315,000
D class £86,000 €98,000
E class £560,000 €762,000
Hovercraft £400,000 €544,000

RNLI lifeguard

Kit Cost
Full wetsuit £245
Sunglasses £40
Shorts £30
Cap £15
Fleece £50

Lifeguard Fleet

Fleet Cost
Rescue watercraft £10,000
Inshore rescue boat £13,000
Patrol vehicle £24,600
All-terrain vehicle £7,000