The difference we're making

To tackle a problem of this scale, we need to combine our 190 years of lifesaving experience with partners around the world. We’re giving others the knowledge and skills to build effective, sustainable drowning prevention programmes.

Thousands of people have already benefited directly from our training programmes and materials, and this number can only grow as their knowledge and skills are shared.

It can be hard to imagine the individual human lives behind the facts and figures. Here are just two of their stories.

Lives saved...

We’ve been working to train and develop volunteer lifeguards in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, since 2012. In May 2014, we worked with local lifesavers to convert their voluntary, part-time beach patrols into a full-time, professional lifeguard service.

Just days after the service was established, a new full-time lifeguard, spotted a young girl who had been swimming when she was caught in a rip current. Fortunately he managed to reach the girl, who was on holiday from Dhaka with her family, and bring her back to shore.

A girl with the Sea Safe lifeguard who rescued her at Cox’s Bazar, BangladeshThe rescue happened mid-week. Days before, the volunteers would not have been on duty and the girl would have most probably drowned.

Since the full time service was established, stories like this continue to be fed back to us through our partners.  It is amazing to see that a small-scale intervention can have such a huge impact.

...and lives changed

Although our work aims to tackle the global drowning problem, it can also have related benefits for local communities.  Sukkur is now a full-time paid lifeguard in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

He is 18 years old and lives with his mother and two siblings in a temporary bamboo house, close to the end of the runway at Airport Village.  Most years, they have to rebuild their home due to high winds and stormy weather during the rainy season.  

Sea Safe Lifeguard Sukkur stands in front of his home with his familyHowever, now that Sukkur has a job, he is able to help provide for his family.

‘My dream is to one day have enough money to buy some land and build a new home that will be strong enough to last all year round.  With my job as a lifeguard, my brother and sister can now hopefully go to school, as the money I earn means they no longer have to go out to work,’ he says.

Where have we made a difference?

There are stories like this around the world. Rescues are continuing to happen every week and thousands more people are learning how to stay safe by the water. See the difference our programmes have already made below, or see how we’re helping in current projects.

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A lifeboat from the Brazilian search and rescue service Anjos do Mar
Lifeguard and lifeboat training for search and rescue volunteers.
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A lifeboat from the British Virgin Islands search and rescue service VISAR
British Virgin Islands
RNLI training for the islands’ search and rescue volunteers.
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Members of RLSS Cameroon in the swim-survival classroom
Helping to develop swim survival training to combat drowning.
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Lifeguards training on a rescue board in Mombasa, Kenya
Helping to train and sustain a voluntary lifeguard service.
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Lifeguards in a training run on the sand in the Philippines
Lifeguard essentials and water safety lessons to save more lives.
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A lifeguard watches over children in the sea at Yoff Beach, Senegal
Helping to train lifeguards and instructors for Dakar’s beaches.
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Two lifeguards lift a casualty out of the sea using a rescue tube in The Gambia
The Gambia
Helping develop a sustainable lifeguard service in one of the poorest countries in the world.
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An all-weather lifeboat used by ADES rescue volunteers in Uruguay
Helping to train Uruguay’s lifeboat volunteers since 2011.
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