For nearly 200 years the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, or RNLI as it is better known, has been saving lives at sea. The Institution was founded in 1884 following an appeal by Sir William Hillary for a dedicated service to protect those at sea.
Today, this mission continues. The RNLI continues to protect all those working at sea whilst extending its service to include those enjoying the water for recreational purposes. Additionally they have begun to protect a number on inland waterways including the River Thames.
The RNLI has developed a range of specialised and technologically advanced lifeboats to support this mission. In addition to providing an extensive beach lifeguard service they are also driving a number of other campaigns and initiatives to reduce drowning deaths around the world.
I believe one of the most amazing things about this service is that it is almost exclusively provided by volunteers and funded by voluntary donations. Supporters can join a number of membership schemes including the fantastic Storm Force scheme for children which I remember fondly from my own childhood.
You can find out more about the RNLI here – https://rnli.org/