Statement from RNLI Chief Executive

Lifeboats Statement

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie: ‘The RNLI is facing some major challenges – we have a shortfall in funds, but more people than ever need our help. It’s a perfect storm.

‘And that means we’re having to make some very difficult decisions. This includes proposals to reduce our staff by 135 roles, pending a period of consultation. The 135 positions include 95 permanent jobs, with the remaining 40 roles made up of temporary positions that won’t be extended or current vacancies that will not be filled.

'This is part of a programme of activity that, combined with increased investment in fundraising, is designed to help us get back to living within our means and deliver our world class rescue service across the UK and Ireland. The majority of the proposed redundancies will be based at the RNLI’s Support Centre in Poole as we look to focus on our frontline services and provide support at a local level.

‘In my four months as Chief Executive at the RNLI I have been incredibly impressed with the dedication of the staff here and the quality of their work. This reduction in jobs isn’t a reflection on the value I, or the organisation, places on individuals.

'But we must do things in a more efficient way and this means we will need fewer people. So I understand that the next few months will be challenging for all involved, but we have to take action now if we are going to weather this storm. And I know everyone at the RNLI is as committed as I am to making sure this 195-year-old charity continues to be a world class rescue service that is still saving lives in 200 years’ time.’

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.