Our international work

Every other minute, someone in the world drowns. These are wasted lives. Preventable deaths.

Drowning is a silent epidemic that claims an estimated 235,000 lives every year, many of them children. But this leading killer isn’t getting the global attention it deserves.

The RNLI is working with global leaders, public health organisations and at-risk communities to help turn the tide. We want to make drowning prevention a priority worldwide and reduce this staggering loss of life.

By raising awareness, conducting research and testing interventions, we can make a difference together.

A child plays by the water in Bangladesh
The global drowning problem
An estimated 235,000 people drown worldwide every year. It is a staggering number, yet this global problem isn’t receiving the serious attention it needs.
What are the causes
Swimming lessons being taught in Bangladesh by our partner
Why we want to end drowning worldwide
The scale of the global drowning problem is a human disaster too big for us to ignore.
A young boy plays with a wheel in front of a body of water at dusk in rural Bangladesh
World Drowning Prevention Day
The RNLI won’t stand by while anyone, anywhere, drowns.
Learn more
Reflections, brother and sister, Reshma (8) and Ridoy (9) are fishing on floodwaters in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh after a monsoon.
Where we're working
Around 235,000 people drown every year, making this a killer that affects every country to some degree.
A lifeguard teaching water safety to a class of girls in Bangladesh
Lifesavers worldwide can download free guides to help develop their own services.
Download the guides
An Aquatic Survival trainer teaches children in the sea on Zanzibar
Lifesaving interventions
With the causes of drowning varying widely, there is no single solution.
Swimming lessons taking place in Tanzania by our partner
Our international partners
We can’t take on drowning alone - and we don’t have to. We’re working with a committed and diverse group of organisations to reach more people and save more lives worldwide.
A child learning to swim in the sea on Zanzibar
International funding
The international drowning problem is vast, but we know that simple, inexpensive solutions are very effective. A small amount spent on overseas projects can change countless lives.