The difference you make

Thanks to the support of brilliant people like you, our lifeboat crews aided an average of 26 people a day in 2019. Our lifeguards aided 29,334 people.

The seas, beaches and waterways watched over by our lifesavers are enjoyed by millions of people every year. But the water remains an unpredictable environment that can catch people out. People will always need our help and – thanks to you – we will always be there to answer that call.

8,941 lifeboat launches

In 2019, RNLI lifeboat crews launched 8,941 times around the coasts of the UK and Ireland, aiding an average of 26 people a day. It is clear that our volunteer lifesavers are still needed to help keep our coastline safe.

As our frontline rescue service continued to keep thousands safe, we also looked at how to support and sustain this lifesaving work long into the future.

Being an RNLI lifesaver takes huge personal commitment and sacrifice from our volunteers, and you help to keep them safe by equipping them with everything they need for the demands they face.

Our plans for a 25-knot all-weather lifeboat fleet saw six new Shannon class lifeboats built in 2018. And the modernisation of our inshore fleet continued with 22 new inshore lifeboats built.

Aiding over 29,000 beachgoers

For the latest information, please visit our beach safety page.

Our lifeguards aided 29,334 people in summer 2019, and responded to 17,356 incidents.

RNLI lifeguard rescuing a child in the surf at Constantine Bay, Cornwall.

Photo: Nigel Millard

RNLI lifeguard rescuing a child in the surf at Constantine Bay, Cornwall

Drowning prevention

British and Irish waters are dangerously unpredictable, with around 150 people still dying in accidents on or near the sea every year. In 2018, we went further than ever to change this story.

Our long term vision is to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths in the UK and Ireland by 2024 from the 189 accidental coastal fatalities described in the RNLI's Lifesaving Strategy. Several campaigns have been expanding over the last year as we work towards that goal.

In 2018, the RNLI Respect the Water campaign encouraged people to float to live. The message was to resist the urge to panic and swim hard if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly. Instead, we advised people just to float until they got their breathing back under control. In 2018 we heard of four drownings prevented as a direct result of Respect the Water. This was in addition to the seven people who got in touch in 2017 to say they'd remembered the advice on finding themselves in trouble in the water - and lived to tell the tale.

Swim Safe expanded to 30 inland and coastal locations. This gave 19,379 children free practical training to boost their confidence in open water.

RNLI ASA Swim Safe programme taking place at Lake Windermere in the Lake District

Photo: Naik Media

RNLI Swim Safe programme at Lake Windermere in the Lake District

We couldn't do any of this without you

This was lifesaving powered by you.

Your support today will help train and equip our lifesavers so that they're ready for anything.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about the numbers, head to our annual report and accounts pages.

Lifesaving statistics in 2019


8,941 lifeboat launches in 2019

29,334 beachgoers aided by lifeguards

Will you go the distance?

Summer brings more people to the coast, which means more rescues. But you can make sure we’re ready by taking part in The Mayday Mile. Whether you run it, walk it, or bounce it, you’ll help save lives this summer.