Based in the UK, the RNLI was
founded in 1824. A non-governmental organization (NGO), we are one of the
oldest charities in the UK. Our purpose is to save lives at sea, and in
and around water.
is a leading global killer, responsible for 360,000 deaths annually (WHO 2017).
This is on a similar scale to diseases such as diarrhea and measles, a
generation ago. But drowning is currently a silent epidemic, unrecognised and
under-resourced, particularly in low and middle-income countries where over 90%
of all deaths occur, and where it is often the leading cause of child injury
Since 2012, we have been
working internationally to share our learning and experience with others to
reduce drowning, especially those in low and middle income countries in Asia
and Africa, which carry the greatest drowning burden.
We deliver international
programmes through a network of in-country partners, designing and implementing
drowning prevention and water safety interventions that are suitable for the
local environment and needs. This includes implementation of context specific drowning
prevention strategies, research to improve knowledge of drowning, development
of national water safety plans and global advocacy to raise awareness and catalyse action to reduce drowning.