Survivor stories

Every year, thanks to your support, RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards save hundreds of lives – people who wouldn’t have survived had our lifesavers not been there – and rescue thousands more. Here, survivors tell their stories to help keep others safe on, in, and around the water.

RNLI Lifeguard Dan Stirling carrying surfer Iona Steen out of the water
Surfer Iona Steen
Holidaymaker Iona Steen was surfing happily at St Agnes in Cornwall until she went back into the cold water without her wetsuit.
Read Iona’s story
Left to right: Paul Sleeman with his rescuers – Port Isaac RNLI Crew Members Matthew Main, Nicola-Jane Bradbury and Damien Bolton.
Angler Paul Sleeman
Three lifeboat volunteers faced the toughest test to rescue a father and son washed into the sea while fishing from the shore.
Read Paul’s story
A portrait shot of Brian O’Carroll who was rescued by Arklow RNLI along with his sister, Kate, when their sailing dinghy capsized
Dinghy sailor Brian O’Carroll
It was a perfect day for dinghy sailing but suddenly conditions changed, leaving a brother and sister at the mercy of the sea.
Read Brian’s story
David Stocks with two of his rescuers: Conwy lifeboat Crew Members Greg Donald (left) and Peter Hughes (right)
Yacht sailor David Stocks
While trying to board his boat at Conwy Marina, David Stocks slipped and fell into the icy waters. Luckily for David, he was spotted falling in.
Read David’s story