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Watch: 10 years of lifesaving in Bangladesh

Think of the biggest, busiest beaches you’ve visited around our coast. Whether you were in, on or beside the sea, lifesavers would have been ready to respond to those in danger. But on one of the world’s longest beaches – host to millions of tourists every year – it's been a different story.

Cox’s Bazar beach, in Bangladesh, is at the northern end of a 75-mile stretch of sand looking west onto the Bay of Bengal. This seaside city has long attracted tourists from across the country. The waters were busy and unsupervised – and drowning was all too common. 

Sea tragedies had become part of a wider drowning epidemic in Bangladesh, where 19,000 people were lost to inland and coastal waters every year at the last count. As well as tackling the inland drowning problem that was killing 40 children a day, the country’s own safety charity, CIPRB (Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh) was determined to make Cox’s Bazar beach a safer place too.

In 2012, CIPRB teamed up with the RNLI to start the country’s first lifeguard service: the SeaSafe project. Watch this video to see how much the project has grown in over 10 years – and the lifesaving impact it’s making to every one. 

More than 500 people have been saved by the lifeguard team in the past 8 years alone, and many more tragedies prevented thanks to the vigilance of the service – a service that is fully sustainable. In 2022, after a decade of SeaSafe, two RNLI lifeguard assessor trainers made a final visit to Cox’s Bazar to work with SeaSafe’s own master trainers. Now SeaSafe has its own team who will up-skill more trainers, who will in turn empower more people to save lives.

The RNLI is working with global leaders, public health organisations and at-risk communities to help turn the tide on global drowning problem. Together, we can make a difference.

Learn more about our international work