Running costs

It cost £163.5M in 2018 to run our lifesaving service – all funded by our generous supporters.

Keeping a modern fleet of lifeboats ever-ready to go to the rescue from over 238 lifeboat stations is an expensive business. Add to that crew training, running a lifeguard service on more than 248 popular beaches and campaigning for water safety, and the pounds start to add up.

It cost £163.5M for the RNLI to run in 2018, all of which was generously donated by the public. This might sound like a lot, but we think the 23 people our lifeboat crews rescue on average every day are worth it. Below is a breakdown of the costs of our rescue kit; for more detailed information see our Annual Report and Accounts.


Equipment (2017 costs) Pound sterling Euros
Gloves £20 €27
Boots £54 €73
Waterproof trousers £249 €339
Waterproof jacket £349 €475
Drysuit, including boots £750 €1,020
Thermal undersuit £225 €306
Thermal top £50 €68
Lifejacket £458 €624
Helmet £263 €358

Lifeboat Fleet

Lifeboat Class Pound sterling Euros
Shannon class £2.2M €3M
B class £214,000 €291,000
D class £52,000 €71,000
E class £560,000 €762,000
Hovercraft £400,000 €544,000

RNLI lifeguard

Kit Cost
Full wetsuit £245
Sunglasses £40
Shorts £30
Cap £15
Fleece £50

Lifeguard Fleet

Fleet Cost
Rescue watercraft £10,000
Inshore rescue boat £13,000
Patrol vehicle £24,600
All-terrain vehicle £7,000

Donate now and power volunteers through the storm

You can help our crews through the Perfect Storm this winter. They’re needed more than ever, and people still get into danger at sea. But we don’t have the funds to give our volunteers everything they need. Donate today – and make a huge difference.