RNLI Lifeboats - Save Our Souls !21 January 2014 by Rod Carruthers
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity dedicated to saving lives at sea and providing lifeboats to lifeboat stations around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel islands, Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways. It was founded on 4th March 1824 as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, with Royal Patronage from George IV. It's current name with the 'Royal' prefix was bestowed by Queen Victoria in 1854.
The RNLI operates 444 lifeboats from 236 lifeboat stations around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. They launched 8,321 times in 2012, rescuing 7,912 people.
The Waveney class lifeboat was the first class of lifeboats operated by the RNLI capable of operating at speeds in excess of 10 knots or 19 km/h.Based on an American design, 22 saw operational service between 1964 and 1999 at the RNLI's stations around the coast of the United Kingdom and Ireland. After being superseded by faster boats in the 1990s, many were sold for use with lifeboat services abroad.
The RNLI's lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 140,000 lives since 1824.