Research summaries

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

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

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.

Evidence, Perceptions and Knowledge of drowning risk in Zanzibar - PDF - 434KB

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.

Drowning deaths among fishing communities of Lake Victoria, Tanzania - PDF - 8.7MB

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

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

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