RNLI saved 30 swimmers’ lives last year

New data has revealed that RNLI lifeboat crews saved 30 swimmers’ lives last year and launched to help swimmers a total of 137 times. To support their lifeboat crews this coming summer, the charity is urging swimmers to take part in its Mayday Mile fundraising campaign.

Last year Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat crews and beach lifeguards saved 506 lives: that’s more than one life per day.

The operational figures for 2022, released earlier this week, highlights just how busy the charity’s selfless volunteer lifeboat crews have been. In fact, RNLI lifeboats launched a total of 9,312 times – an increase of 5% on the previous year. Lifeboat crews saved the lives of 389 people, while the charity’s beach lifeguards saved 117 lives.

Looking ahead to another busy summer of lifesaving around our coasts, the charity is now urging the public to support their lifesavers by taking part in their Mayday Mile taking on the challenge of covering a mile a day for the month of May. You can cover your mile in any way you like: walking, skipping, hopping or, of course, swimming.

All money raised will help to provide the vital training and equipment that is needed to keep its lifesavers safe, while they risk their own lives to save others.

“The RNLI has been saving lives at sea for nearly 200 years,” said Pete Emmett, Head of Engagement at the RNLI. “Our incredible lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland launched over 9,000 times last year to help those in need, and our lifeguards kept people safe across hundreds of beaches. We are so proud of our brave and selfless lifesavers.

“As a charity, we rely on the generous support of members of the public to continue this lifesaving work. We need ongoing fundraising – now, more than ever – to keep providing our lifesavers with the best equipment and training for their important lifesaving role, which is why we’re calling on people to support our lifesavers this May.

“Every Mayday Mile completed will help give our lifesavers everything they need to continue to keep people safe this summer – and beyond. It’s so easy to get involved, and to have fun whilst helping the RNLI save lives.”

The Mayday Mile takes place from 1-31 May; sign up and find out more. Photo: Stephen Duncombe

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.