BT Tower issues a Mayday for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The 177m iconic London landmark will help mark the start of a month of RNLI fundraising by displaying a Mayday call on Saturday 1 May.

From 7.30am – 10.30am, Londoners can look up to see a striking animation displayed around the tower, encouraging people to answer the lifesaving charity’s call to fundraise this May.

Rescue figures released earlier this week showed that a total of 349 lives were saved by the charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards in 2020. That’s almost one life saved every single day.

The data also revealed that last summer alone, RNLI lifeboat crews saved 140 lives – an increase of 32% from the year previous – after coronavirus travel restrictions meant a record-breaking number of people visited beaches around the UK and Ireland.

With lockdown restrictions easing once again, and huge numbers of people planning to ‘staycation’ at the British coast, the RNLI are anticipating that summer 2021 will be their busiest yet – but more funds are needed to ensure that their lifesaving service is able to keep everyone safe.

In preparation for the busy summer period, the urgent Mayday call to be displayed on the BT Tower tomorrow asks supporters to take part in The Mayday Mile. Whether they choose to swim it, run it, cycle it, dance it or simply walk it, The Mayday Mile challenges participants to cover one mile in any way they like between Saturday 1 May – Monday 31 May, whilst raising funds to keep people safe this summer.

Anyone who wishes to get involved can visit to sign up.

Notes to editors

Footage supplied is from a test of the Mayday message carried out on Friday 30 April. The animation will be displayed again from 7.30am to 10.30am on Saturday 1 May.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Emily Hazard at Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email

RNLI online

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


BT showed their support for the RNLI's Mayday campaign by showing an animation on the BT Tower.

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.