Article: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

Article: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)

July 13th, 2017: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) sent 19 of their boats to take part in the rescue operation in Dunkirk in 1940, saving over 1,000 British soldiers from the beaches of North France.

But RNLI continues to save lives today. It is indeed a charity dedicated to save lives from the sea and to educate about water safety. From their website: “We are the RNLI: the charity that saves lives at sea. Every day of every year, people of all backgrounds get into danger in the water. It’s a problem that we’re here to tackle.”

RNLI was founded in 1824 following the appeal to the British Nation by Sir William Hillary to create a service dedicated to saving lives from the sea. RNLI activity is almost entirely supported by donations, it exists as a separate entity from the Coastguard, and is independent from the Government. All RNLI operations are carried out by volunteers.

(photo credit to RNLI)

Since its inception in 1824, RNLI has saved over 140,000 lives! It was estimated for example that 442 lives were saved and 9,763 people were rescued from the sea in 2015 alone. Currently, RNLI operations are carried out by a fleet composed of 350 vessels that cover over 19,000 miles of coastline in the UK and Ireland. There are also 100 vessels available to replace the ones being used due to regular or emergency maintenance. The vessels at RNLI are of two types: all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats. The types of vessels present at the different stations along the coastline depend on the geography of the location and the needs. All-weather lifeboats are capable of high speed and work well in open ocean waters; inshore lifeboats are designed to navigate shallower waters closer to the coast and are even capable of entering caves.

Due to the hash conditions at sea, all the volunteers that take part in the RNLI rescue operations have to pass strict medical tests and receive top of the line training that prepares them to face even the most dangerous situations.

(photo credit to RNLI)

In addition to saving lives, RNLI is committed to educate about water safety and has educational programs especially geared towards children. According to their website 593,000 children received life-saving information about how to stay safe in the water in 2015 alone. Water safety education is also taught via their archive and library, collections, exhibitions and museums.

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(photo credit to RNLI)

Finally, SNLI is committed to stay on the cutting edge of water rescue by developing new technologies and ways to save lives, which they do by closely collaborating with academia and the private sector.

images-1To learn more how you can help RNLI, visit their website and especially their donation page.

Last year for Harry Styles’ birthday (February 23rd), One Direction fans set up a JustGiving donation page to benefit RNLI, which raised $11,400. Another group of fans set up a fundraiser to repair Skylark IX, one of the lifeboats that participated in the rescue operations in Dunkirk in 1940.

 

 

 

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