RNLI already third largest UK charity on TikTok just one week after launch

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has gained more than 100,000 new social media followers and 4M views within days of launching on TikTok.

RNLI/Stephen Duncombe

Porthcawl lifeboat launching in rough conditions

The short-form video hosting service has swept the online world and the lifesaving charity is now third only in the UK sector on TikTok behind the Black Country Living Museum and the British Red Cross.

That instant success has also propelled the RNLI through the 1M barrier for followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and now TikTok.

RNLI Strategic Social Media Manager Athar Abidi said: ‘Our TikTok launch was meant to be a low-profile affair to allow us the opportunity to test and learn so its immediate popularity took us all a little by surprise.

‘As a discovery channel, TikTok gives us the chance to reach and resonate with a new audience, so over the coming weeks we will be posting content that reflects the diversity of our work, our volunteers and our supporters to inform our ongoing content strategy.’

Launched on Wednesday 13 July, the very first RNLI TikTok post showed its volunteer lifeboat crews and beach lifeguards battling rough seas – a post which attracted more than 2.6M views.

Other posts include the rescue of a young woman being pulled out of the water by lifeboat crews at Weston-Super-Mare, a video showcasing the five classes of RNLI all-weather lifeboats and a behind the scenes look at a floating boathouse at Poole.

Athar added: ‘This new channel will help us save lives at sea by reaching a new generation of supporters by delivering key safety advice to an organic audience that now tops the one million mark who can help spread our message even further through their extended networks.

‘Our most recent TikTok post gives advice ahead of the school summer holidays which has been viewed over 12,000 times and carries vital lifesaving information such as reminding people to visit a lifeguarded beach and calling 999 in an emergency.’

Notes to editors

· RNLI TikTok page viewable here.

· To support RNLI lifesavers, please visit RNLI.org/Go Donate

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.