Saving Lives on the Thames

Every year, up to 400,000 people gather along the Thames to watch one of the most iconic events in the sporting calendar. Teams from Oxford and Cambridge Universities putting months of training and preparation into action, as they race for victory on the Thames.

Every day, our lifeboat crews take part in a different kind of race. A race against time. Not for personal pride or victory. But to save lives. And it’s the training and preparation that the RNLI Thames lifeboat crews put in that means they are ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

This comes at a cost. Vital running costs need to be funded. And because we are a charity, we rely on donations to make sure lifeboat crews have the skills and knowledge to save lives.

Since 2002, Thames lifeboat crews have been casting a watchful eye on The Boat Race, helping spectators to stay safe as they cheer on the men and women in different shades of blue. You might not have noticed the orange lifeboats among the race flotilla before. You might not even know that there are lifeboats on the Thames at all. Until you need them. Until you are in the water, struggling to swim, and in desperate need of rescue.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, RNLI lifeboat crews on the Thames are ready to launch. But they couldn’t do it without donations from people like you. Every pound you donate will go towards providing crews at Chiswick, Gravesend, Teddington and Tower with the training they need to rescue people in danger. So when the call to rescue comes in, they’re ready to respond.

940 RNLI lifeboat launches on the Thames

36 [RNLI Lifesavers on boat race duty]

5 Boat race spectators at risk moved to safety