Royal National Lifeboat Institution

maritime rescue organization in the UK, Ireland, Channel Island and Isle of Man

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is an agency which rescues people at sea in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, as well as on some large rivers.

The RNLI is a charity. Two-thirds of its funding comes from money left in people's wills. Most of its crew members are volunteers. The RNLI has 237 lifeboat stations and 444 lifeboats. These are boats that travel from the shore to rescue people at sea, rather than lifeboats that are used for escaping from a ship. Their crews rescued on average 22 people a day in 2015. The RNLI also provides beach lifeguards and flood rescue teams.

The RNLI cannot be called for help directly. In the event that someone is in danger at sea, the coastguard of the country or territory should be called on 999 or 112. The coastguard organize the search for those in danger. They will then call the RNLI if their help is needed. Not all lifeboats in the UK and Ireland are run by the RNLI; there are some independent lifeboat agencies.