Video of the Day: British Sea-Cowboys

10 10 2012

Britain’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution released dramatic footage of crew members rescuing a fisherman who had fallen overboard in Bude Bay in Cornwall, before chasing and capturing his runaway boat.

They rescued a local fisherman, who had been thrown overboard with his companion after a rogue wave hit their boat, while it was making its way out of the harbour.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways.

The RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, with Royal Patronage from King George IV of Great Britain and Ireland. It was given the prefix ‘Royal’ and its current name in 1854 by Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland. It has official charity status in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The RNLI operates 444 lifeboats (332 are on station, 112 are in the relief fleet), from 236 lifeboat stations around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The RNLI’s lifeboats rescued an average of 22 people a day in 2011. RNLI lifeboats launched 8,905 times in 2011, rescuing 7,976 people. The RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 139,000 lives since 1824. RNLI lifeguards placed on selected beaches around England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands attended to 15,625 incidents in 2011. The RNLI Operations department defines ‘rescues’ and ‘lives saved’ differently.

In 2012, the RNLI Lifeguards service was expanded to cover more than 180 beaches. RNLI lifeguards are paid by the appropriate town or city council, while the RNLI provides their equipment and training. In contrast, most lifeboat crew members are unpaid volunteers. The RNLI is funded by voluntary donations and legacies (together with tax reclaims). In 2011, the RNLI’s income was £162.9M, while its expenditure was £140.6M.


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