NEWS
15/09/2019 14:06 BST | Updated 16/09/2019 16:18 BST

People Are Cancelling Their RNLI Donations Because They Save Children In Other Countries

Yes, really.

Atlantic-Lens-Photography via Getty Images
Portrush Lifeboat Moored in Portrush Harbour

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute has been forced to defend its work saving lives overseas after an article on the Mail Online sparked an angry backlash on social media.

The story highlighted how the charity – famed for its distinctive orange lifeboats manned by volunteers – spends £3.3m a year on projects in Tanzania and Bangladesh yet has been forced to cut around 100 jobs in the UK.

 

Tory MP Nigel Evans was quoted in the piece saying it was “risking the reputation of the charity”.

“RNLI” quickly trended on Twitter as people reacted to the piece with outrage and many claimed they would stop donating to the charity.

The RNLI was forced to issue a statement in which it stood by its international work that “saves (mostly kids’) lives” and said the amount spent overseas totalled just 2% of its expenditure and was public information.

The overseas projects include:

  • The Panje Project teaches which women swim survival skills in Zanzibar. The burkini, which is a full length swim suit is an innovative (and cheap) way of enabling girls in strict Muslim countries, to get into the water without compromising their cultural and religious beliefs

  • The Creches for Bangladesh programme which helps reduce children’s risk of drowning by ensuring they have close supervision throughout the day. Around 40 children a day die from drowning in Bangladesh

But this was still not enough to stop people expressing their anger.

But there was also support for the charity’s endeavours. 

The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands.

Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.