The difference you make

Thanks to the support of brilliant people like you, our lifeboat crews aided an average of 22 people a day in 2017. Our lifeguards aided 24,044 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.

8,436 lifeboat launches

In 2017, RNLI lifeboat crews launched 8,436 times around the coasts of the UK and Ireland, aiding an average of 22 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 Shannon class lifeboats built for Bridlington, Girvan, Lytham St Annes, Selsey, Workington and the relief fleet. The modernisation of our inshore fleet continued with 22 new inshore lifeboats built in 2017.

Helping over 24,000 beachgoers

Our lifeguards aided 24,044 people in summer 2017, and responded to 15,558 incidents.

Thanks to the training and equipment you’ve helped to provide, lifeguards are ready to jump into action on over 249 beaches throughout the summer. Our aim is to have 260 patrols in place by 2019.

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 190 people still dying in accidents on or near the sea every year. In 2017, 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. Several campaigns have been expanding over the last year as we work towards that goal.

In 2017, 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. We have since heard from seven people who remembered this advice on finding themselves in trouble in the water - and lived to tell the tale.

Swim Safe expanded to 22 locations, with some taking place at inland locations for the first time. This gave 13,158 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 2017


8,436 lifeboat launches in 2017

24,044 beachgoers helped by lifeguards