Here, you can download summaries of our recent research projects.
Evidence, Perceptions and Knowledge of drowning risk in Zanzibar
The RNLI has supported the implementation of survival swimming and water safety education in Zanzibar since 2013. Throughout the African continent, extending to Tanzania and Zanzibar, there is very little data on the drowning risk. This research has been commissioned to collect evidence on perceptions of the risk of drowning in coastal communities in Zanzibar, and will be used to support the design of interventions in the region. Overall, the research suggests a high drowning risk, caused by some knowledge gaps, partially driven by lack of access to information and lack of skills.
Drowning deaths among fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Tanzania
Fishing from small boats is an important part of the fisheries industry in the African Great Lakes Region. Whilst fishing is globally recognised as a hazardous occupation, the hazards faced by fishers in this context are not well understood. This project sought to estimate the burden and impact of drowning on fishing communities around the Tanzanian shore of Lake Victoria and to understand potential methods for improving safety. The study estimates that 5 fishers drown every day in the Tanzanian sector of Lake Victoria and these deaths have profound effects on the community. Drowning is a significant and unaddressed issue affecting these disadvantaged communities and requires urgent attention.
Evaluation of swim safe 2017
Swim Safe aims to teach children the difference between swimming in a pool environment and open water. The 2017 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.
Review of good practices in delivering targeted education messages in low-to-middle-income countries
This research looked at the extent to which the current design and approach to delivery aligns with good practice identified and documented by others delivering education messages to school children in similar contexts. The review provided recommendations, including broadening the guidance in our manual to explicitly document our approach to equity, adding to our teaching approaches, and increasingly and more purposefully engage with the wider community to enable and reinforce safe behaviours.
evaluation of swim safe 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.
HELPING TO PREVENT DROWNING AT SEA: UNDERSTANDING COMMON FACTORS IN FATAL INCIDENTS
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.
Exploring the effect of lifeguard preventative actions on beach safety
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.
Audience profiling research: attitudes to sailing
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.
Evaluation of swim safe 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.
Estimating the global economic cost of drowning
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.
Evaluation of swim safe 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.
Leisure divers - audience profiling
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.
The economic and social benefits of lifeguard provision
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.
Canoeing and kayaking audience profiling
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.
The impact of riding up on lifejacket performance
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.
Audience profiling research: Coastal Anglers
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.
Lifejacket wear observational results 2009-17
This research summary presents the results from an annual study by the RNLI and National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) of marine lifejacket wear rates in the UK and Ireland.