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The RNLI fact file

​The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Our volunteer crews give up their time and comfort to carry out rescues in difficult and often dangerous conditions, and our lifeguards keep people safe on over 200 UK and Channel Island beaches.

Our patron is HM The Queen

What is a patron? A patron is a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organisation, cause, or activity.​

The RNLI is a charity

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. What is an institution? An institution is an organisation established for a particular purpose, in this case, saving lives at sea.

We keep people safe nationally

Our service covers the whole of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

We use lifeboats to save lives at sea

There are 237 lifeboat stations around the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, with 346 lifeboats. Our lifeboat crew aim to reach at least 90% of all casualties within 10 nautical miles of the coast within 30 minutes of launch in all weathers.

We patrol more than 200 UK and Channel Island beaches

In 2013, RNLI lifeguards are patrolling more than 200 UK and Channel Island beaches. RNLI lifeguards aim to reach any casualty up to 300m from shore within the red and yellow flags, within 3 1/2 minutes.

We have lifeboats inland as well as on the coast

We have 4 lifeboat stations on the River Thames in London, and 3 inland lifeboat stations at Lough Ree, Lough Derg and Ennniskillen in Ireland, and at Loch Ness in Scotland.

Our lifeboat crew are volunteers

We have 4,600 volunteer crew members. Crew members come from many walks of life. They volunteer as part of the lifeboat crew, this means they do it without getting paid. Most crew members have other jobs, for example some are teachers, mechanics, bar staff, students and company directors. Going out on a shout means they must stop whatever they are doing and get to the lifeboat as fast as they can - day or night!

How much money do the RNLI raise a year?

​In 2013, income reached £182.7M.

How many lives were saved in 2013?

In 2013 the lifeboats saved 325 lives, plus we rescued 8384 people.

​If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help