Research summaries

We are committed to sharing as much of our research as possible.

Here, you can download summaries of our recent research projects.

evaluation of swim safe 2016

December 2016

Swim Safe aims to teach children the difference between swimming in a pool environment and open water. The 2016 evaluation sought to measure changes in self-reported attitudes, awareness and behaviour. It also looked at the overall process of Swim Safe, such as the programme governance and the challenges associated with the growth of the programme.

Evaluation of Swim Safe - PDF - 394KB

HELPING TO PREVENT DROWNING AT SEA: UNDERSTANDING COMMON FACTORS IN FATAL INCIDENTS

December 2015

This research looked at the causes of fatal incidents at sea across a range of activities. It also identified interventions aiming to prevent such deaths.

Helping to prevent drowning at sea: Understanding common factors in fatal incidents - PDF - 659KB

Exploring the effect of lifeguard preventative actions on beach safety

October 2015

An important part of an RNLI lifeguard’s role is to promote beach safety, preventing unsafe incidents before rescue is needed. This research project sought to explore the effect of preventative actions on incident rates across a sample of RNLI beach lifeguard units. It also provides the first known quantitative evidence about the efficacy of lifeguards’ prevention activities.

Exploring the effect of lifeguard preventative actions on beach safety - PDF - 3.1MB

Audience profiling research: attitudes to sailing

September 2015

This research was commissioned to segment the population of yacht sailors in the UK and explore their attitudes to risk. It also sought to identify the most effective methods of communicating future safety messages.

Audience profiling research: attitudes to sailing - PDF - 0.4MB

Lifejacket wear observation

September 2015

This research was commissioned by the RNLI and the National Coastwatch Institution to better understand the extent to which  personal flotation devices (such as lifejackets) are used among people using the UK and Irish coast for leisure and commercial purposes.

Lifejacket wear observation - 2009-2014 - PDF - 2.8MB

Evaluation of swim safe 2015

August 2015

Swim Safe aims to teach children the difference between swimming in a pool environment and open water. The 2015 evaluation sought to measure changes in self-reported attitudes, awareness and behaviour. The results showed positive increases across all three areas, but the study team concludes that further work is needed to understand how long these effects last and what influence the length of session has on outcomes.

Evaluation of Swim Safe - PDF - 315KB

Estimating the global economic cost of drowning

February 2015

There is an economic cost of drowning in all countries in which it occurs, and this research aimed to quantify it, highlighting the wider burden to society. It is the first piece of research that the RNLI has conducted into the economic impact of drowning, and the first that we are aware of in global literature.

Estimating the global economic cost of drowning - PDF - 4.3MB

Evaluation of swim safe 2014

August 2014

The RNLI and ASA’s free Swim Safe open water safety sessions for children have run for three consecutive Summers, reaching thousands of young people aged 7 to 14 years. This evaluation considers the objectives of Swim Safe, and the extent to which they have been met so far. It considers the efficacy of the sessions, their cost and what improvements could be made in future.

Evaluation of Swim Safe - PDF - 2.5MB

Leisure divers - audience profiling

January 2014

This research was commissioned by the RNLI in partnership with the BDSG to better understand approaches to safety and attitudes to risk amongst UK leisure divers.

Leisure divers - audience profiling - PDF - 3.3MB

The economic and social benefits of lifeguard provision

December 2013

This research project sought to collect evidence of the wider benefits of the RNLI's lifeguard provision and to quantify the economic impact of the presence of our service.

The economic and social benefits of lifeguard provision - PDF - 0.2MB

Canoeing and kayaking audience profiling

October 2013

Canoeing and kayaking are two of the most popular watersports activities in Britain, with an estimated 3% of the adult population participating in either sport at least once during 2013.

Canoeing and kayaking audience profiling - PDF - 0.2MB

The impact of riding up on lifejacket performance

June 2013

Our research project sought to test whether crotch straps improve lifejacket performance. Our findings are the first conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of crotch straps.

The impact of riding up on lifejacket performance - PDF - 0.2MB

Audience profiling research: Coastal Anglers

April 2013

This research was commissioned to segment the population of coastal anglers in the UK and explore their attitudes to risk, and to identify the most effective modes to communicate future safety messages.

Audience profiling research: coastal anglers - PDF - 0.3MB