The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, otherwise known as the RNLI, is a charity which has been around since 1824. For almost two hundred years, the lifesavers involved with the institution have sacrificed their lives at sea to save others. Each member of a lifeboat crew undergo intense training including a course at RNLI Trainee College in Poole, Dorset.
Royal National Lifeboat Institute History
Founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, the RNLI went on to save thousands of lives down through the years. Sir William Hillary, from the Isle of Man, had the idea for the charity after witnessing so many people dying at sea. However, when the institution was first established, it had the much longer name of 'The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck'. This name remained until 1854, when it was changed to the one we know today.
In 1838, national attention was brought to the charity when Grace Darling and her father rescued sailors who were in trouble at sea. Her father kept a lighthouse, and after their heroic actions, they were hailed as celebrities and were able to bring much attention to lifeboats and lifesavers.
The late 19th century saw many big events in the history of the RNLI, and in 1884, the famous flag was designed. In 1890, the charity introduced the first lifeboat to be driven by steam.
Lifeboats powered by petrol were tried out in 1905 for the first time, and during the First World War, more than 5,000 lives were saved at sea by this charity.
What does the RNLI do today?
The lifesaving service, which costs more than £140 million each year to run, operates 24 hours a day. The mission of the charity is to prevent the losses of lives at sea, and is committed to finding ways to prevent accidents and tragedies.
The institution is run by the help of many volunteers, all of whom put others before themselves while at work. The courageous team are highly trained and take part in a variety of rescue programs, including flood rescue and beach rescue.
A team specifically put together for flood rescue emergencies was founded in 2000. With a total of 250 members in the team, some of them are even able to travel to other parts of the world in order to save lives.
Supporting the RNLI Charity
Many sailors support the RNLI, and some have even been fortunate enough to be rescued by this incredible charity when in danger. The institution relies hugely on donations from individuals, legacies and supporters, and 92% of the total annual income is made up of these gifts.
There are many ways that you can support the charity, including buying gifts from the RNLI shops, getting a RNLI membership and taking part in one of the huge fundraising events. With a large amount of volunteer roles available, you can volunteer your time without having to go out to sea. Positions for volunteer secretaries and co-ordinators, as well as lifesavers, are constantly coming up.
Those who donate money to the charity can rest assured that their gift will go directly towards saving lives. A total of 83p from each pound is used in the charity and the remaining 17p is invested to generate further income.
To support the RNLI Charity you can make a donation:
Weymouth RNLI Station with kept afloat Severn Class Lifeboat and boatshed housing Inshore B Class Lifeboat Phyl Clare 3. Located in Weymouth historic harbour with a dedicated pontoon and seperate Boathouse.