The difference you make
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.
8,964 lifeboat launches
In 2018, RNLI lifeboat crews launched 8,964 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 32,000 beachgoers
Please note that this year there will be fewer lifeguarded beaches than normal. For the latest information, please visit our beach safety page.
Our lifeguards aided 32,207 people in summer 2018, and responded to 19,449 incidents.
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.
Lifesaving statistics in 2018
756K+ YOUNG PEOPLE REACHED WITH SAFETY TIPS
8,964 lifeboat launches in 2018
32,207 beachgoers aided by lifeguards