Where your money goes

Giving our lifesavers everything they need and deserve – from boots to boats – is costly.
RNLI Welly filled with coins on the beach

Photo: RNLI / Nigel Millard

As a charity, we depend on people like you to help us meet the cost of saving lives at sea. Our volunteer lifeboat crew members give their time for free, but they need training, well-maintained equipment, lifeboats and shore facilities. Your support means our crews can save lives quickly, safely and effectively.

It cost £163.5M/€184.3M to run our lifesaving service in 2018

Giving our lifesavers everything they need and deserve – from boots to boats – is costly. There are 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, and our lifeguards patrol over 248 beaches each summer.

In 2018 our £163.5M/€184.3M running costs were divided up into: 

  • Lifeboats, property and equipment 53%
  • Lifeboat service 27%
  • Lifeguard rescue 12%
  • Safety, education and awareness 6%
  • International 2%.

Repair, renew, rebuild – our capital expenditure

Much of our income is used to keep our lifesavers ready for the next call for help. This includes constructing new lifeboats and the buildings which will house, protect and launch them. This spending is a vital investment in the future.

In 2018, we undertook 15 station build projects. We also built 28 new lifeboats that are already in service and saving lives around our coasts.

RNLI solar panels, heat pumps and a wind turbine generated a saving of around £129,800/€146,300.

Making your generosity work harder

As a charity, we know how much effort and thought goes in to raising every pound or euro which comes our way. So we’re committed to using funds in the most efficient ways possible.

Want to delve deeper into the numbers? See our 2018 Annual Report and Accounts and learn more about the difference your support makes.