General FAQs

Find answers to our most frequently asked general questions.

When was the RNLI founded?

The RNLI was founded, with royal patronage, in 1824.  The charity was originally called the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck and was later renamed the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in 1854.

Learn more about our history.

How do I contact my local lifeboat station?

You can find your nearest lifeboat station using our search facility – simply enter your postcode or the station you’re looking for. Once located, you will find the contact details for the lifeboat station.

Alternatively, contact us and we can help you find the contact details for your local lifeboat station.

How do I change my address on your records?

Contact us online, by phone or by letter and we can make this change for you.

Where can I get beach and sea safety information?

You can find a wealth of information and advice about staying safe on, in and around the water in our safety pages.

Can I order an RNLI Shop catalogue?

Our mail order catalogue is no longer available. You can still order an item over the phone by calling our mail order partner Prism on 0300 300 9916 from the UK, or +44(0) 116 290 7384 from overseas.If you have a question about ordering an item, please fill out our contact form at

How do I get my collection box emptied?

You can arrange collection of your donations by contacting your local RNLI Community Fundraising Support Team.

How can I make a fundraising complaint?

We're sorry you're not happy with the level of service you've received. 

As a member of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), we always aim to provide the highest level of customer service to all of our supporters. 

We'd really like the opportunity to put things right. So here's what to do if you have a complaint about fundraising.