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.
Drowning 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 and mortality
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 catalyze action to reduce drowning.