What is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for? And, how does their operation save a thousand lives every year? This article shows your concrete look at this NGO.
We may hear about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution a lot through news and radio, thanks for their heroic actions which never asks for return. However, few people get to know the history as well as the situation of this organization.
Your knowledge of the RNLI’s background is a big concern of this organization as its action could spread meaning. This article will briefly but sufficiently represent the organization’s information, how it operates, and overcome challenges. And most importantly, let’s look through the staggering achievement it has made since 1824.
Table of Contents
- The Formation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
- Operation and Challenges of Royal National Lifeboat Institution
- Numbers and Achievement
- Frequently Asked Questioned
The Formation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Formation of National Institution for the Preservation of Life in 1824
Sir William Hillary – founder of RNLI
Sir William Hillary, a member of the Isle of Man, noticed the importance of forming a service to help people with the treacherous Irish sea. It took him 16 years from 1808 to 1824 to convince members of Parliament to develop this service.
In 1824, he successfully established the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck. People still remember their first rescue packet St. George near Douglas Harbor. There is even a Conister Rock at the entrance of Douglas showing the Isle of Man as memorizing Sir William’s work in that rescue.
Even though the organization happened with government support, it is a non-governmental organization with no profit. Since the foundation until now, it lives on the fund from people who can pay by locals.
In the first decade, it was content with the fundraising, and the operation seemed stable. However, 1849 came with a financial crisis. The organization had to ask for a government subsidy, but it wasn’t for long since the money continued to drop.
Rename in 1854
The organization has used the name Royal National Lifeboat Institution since 1854. Finance to them remained a hard rock until an accident in 1886.
The incident in Southport and St Annes took the life of 27 lifeboat crew members. The fundraising after that in 1981 eventually collected 10,000 pounds. Since then, the Lifeboat Saturday appeared as a remark for the change in fundraising face.
From now on, RNLI operates as a charity service in saving lives at sea. Their work expands from the ocean in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and the water around the Channel Islands. They possess a lifeboat thanks to the build-up of funds continuously from people. However, the organization itself throws other activities to earn money for facilities.
95% of people working for RNLI are volunteers and getting no salary from the job. However, the work continues to make them the most outstanding charity work in the UK for now.
1886 – incident at St. Annes’s Lifeboat
Operation and Challenges of Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Operations in RNLI
Royal National Lifeboat Institution carries on saving every life at sea, including human and non-human. As long as living things are endangered in the water, the lifeboat team will try their best to help out.
Because of limited funds, their primary vehicles are lifeboats and in water belonging to the country. However, these boundaries cannot stop them from doing hero work every day. To be noted, this organization has nothing to do with the coastguard as well as relating business. However, their volunteer work is no less critical.
They do research and rescue at sea, like coastguards but not legitimate action. The team tries their best to help with emergencies and act the fastest. Therefore, they also perform some patrol in the water and always watch out.
Direct action is not enough, and there is still lost at sea. This organization has tried to raise people’s awareness about the danger in the ocean and prepare necessary knowing by spreading water safety advice. Overall, they try to secure people’s life with action and in the mindset.
It’s staggering to know that they trigger the service 24/7 regardless of holidays, winter, or bad weather. Therefore, they have maintained the service so great year after year. However, no matter what they develop, the service is free, and facilities cost money. Therefore, they are confronting the most challenging time considering finance.
To enhance productivity, the organization holds training courses, research, and analysis all over the cases to come up with the best plan every season to save the most lives. They even have got a professional research team about saving at sea and everything that could help boost the living number. You can read their work from RNLI’s website.
They launch an education program to help people raise awareness even better. If you visit the website, you will see them do some business to gather more funds for sea activities. The team operates in over 200 beaches, and along with that number of locations, they open training programs for more than 800 children a week in helping them in self-protection in water.
Lifeboat at sea
Challenges to Enhance the NGO’s Service
The all-the-time difficulty to a non-profit organization is finance. As you know, even if they contribute a lot to maintaining people’s happy lives, they don’t get paid. The only budget they have got is from fundraising. To get a big fund, they have to circle huge social attention.
Also, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution aims to raise people’s awareness about water safety practices. Hence, it means a lot to them if people know about the organization and programs they are spreading.
Overall, this NGO is confronting both campaigns: maintaining a stable fund and expanding social awareness. They have got specific plans to work on these goals.
RNLI has got a YouTube Channel and a website. From these channels, you can read about their services, connect to them, and listen to the lifeboat team’s brave stories. There are also videos recorded from incidents at sea. You shouldn’t expect them to be professionally trimmed and composed as all recordings are spontaneous.
Besides, a big part of RNLI’s existence is its connection with locals. They take care of the relationship with communities around the area. It’s an undeniable fact that a strong bond with local people and authorities could help an NGO do better in spreading aim, supervising, and influencing.
Besides funds, human force imposes another vulnerable factor to NGOs, especially with charity relating to saving lives at a dangerous spot like at sea. Volunteers must be through strict training before entering the mission as the saving process requires no mistake, and people could lose their lives. However, working for this NGO could bring you a huge chance to attend meaningful events such as Oban Lifeboat Saturday Pop-up Shop, running competition, Marathon, or festival. And, with the support from the government, attending this group means a lot of prestige.
Lifeboat crew training
Numbers and Achievement
Through almost 200 years of operation, the organization has contributed to the peace at sea enormously in the UK. It’s hard to measure all values, but we can outline through some figures.
For all years of operation, the organization has saved the lives of a total of 140000 people. And this number is counting on every year. Let’s consider the number made by an unprofessional organization with all heroes being volunteer and unpaid. Through these years, plenty of lives in the crew has been lost in exchange for survivors.
Counting until 2014, the organization has possessed in total 8462 lifeboats. That means a lot as they depend on this single vehicle to approach survivors and save them from death.
This number helped with rescuing 8727 people in that year, especially in natural disasters such as floods. They were making use of what they have well. Thanks to them, these lives they had saved included adults and children, pets, and more.
This number looks small, but it’s the average number of lives saved every day by RNLI. The figure remains since 2015, so you can work on how much they have done for the country.
March 17th, 1907
This day marked an important event of RNLI. The team successfully carried the most significant rescue since the foundation. In particular, they saved the lives of a total of 456 people on the vessel SS Suevic. The volunteers had done a fantastic job in that foggy weather with only crude lifeboats. Among the survivors, there were 70 babies.
After that 16-hour rescue, the team was rewarded with 16 silver medals for a fantastic job. Until now, that case in Cornwall remains a highlight in the history of the organization.
The organization attracts many volunteers thanks to the significant meaning it carries on. The entire history recorded 4,600 volunteers, including more than 300 women, only for the lifeboats. To manage safe lives all over the 200 beaches, they need more people to work off-shore, training, station watch, and so on.
Lifeguards impose another massive force on RNLI since the number reached 20,000 people. At least these people got paid by local authorities, but the rest of the human staff works only for passion.
Staff and volunteers will get a uniform and necessary tool to perform the job in the best condition. Some things like lifejackets, boats, and other equipment changed design over time to better present the organization’s mission.
Having contributed so much to the operation at sea, this organization surely got rewarded with some medals.
Almost 200 years in service has brought 2500 medals, including gold to bronze, to this organization. The team always received prestigious titles such as Most Outstanding Lifesaving service in Atlantic 21 or Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station.
Besides, if you look up for those names like Henry Blogg or Robert William Hook, you will find medals they got. These men and more names belonged to the team that had served for a long time and contributed their lives in risky missions. People made them cornerstone, tittle, or medals.
238 Lifeboats stations have been on set throughout the UK. They also have buildings to nail the lifeboats, and these are essential facilities to help save people around the Thames and Channel Island effectively.
Lifeboats for the team consist of all-weather, inshore, and hovercraft. As you can see, they operate through weather, day, and locations. The UK happens to have complicated water networks, so different lifeboats mean a lot to maximize the efficiency of saving lives.
95% of the money to operate the organization comes from fundraising events, local people, and other organizations. Therefore, maintaining the mission and spreading the messages through people are all essential to keep the budget.
Besides, the organization carries on some side-businesses to help boost the budget. We can contribute by shopping in RNLI’s shop and using services in their café.
A fundraising event by RNLI
Frequently Asked Questioned
How to contact RNLI in an emergency?
The best way to report an emergency to the RNLI team is to reach the nearest station. You can visit the site to know which one to call. These stations are active through holidays at any time to get your report.
Additionally, people can contact for further information such as claiming, recruitment, funding, or so on by calling their number, or send email or letters if you can wait for the reply.
Does RNLI extend the service internationally?
RNLI operation in saving lives now happens only within the UK boundaries. However, they try to extend their hand to other countries by sharing knowledge and exchanging professional and inspiring mindsets. The international activities cost them around 2.9 million pounds every year on average.
How does RNLI spend funds?
They spend money on equipping more facilities, upgrading the lifeboats, fixing things, and training people.
What is an RNLI shop?
RNLI shops provide many things for your house and life. Their products are to raise more money for the main operation. Locals and people can contribute to their service by shopping there.
What is RNLI College?
It’s a place where people come to train new people. However, they have space for rent and restaurants.
How was the rescue video recorded?
Each lifeboat has a camera to help them watch the situation, record, and spread the world’s activities.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the most prominent charity organization in the UK in maintaining peace at sea. Even though they work domestically, their work means a lot to the country and gets massive support from the citizens.