The RNLI is the largest charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on some inland waterways including our local River Thames. To raise awareness, a group from Chiswick RNLI, the nearest Lifeboat station to the community stadium will also be on site on Saturday, 12 February, when we face Crystal Palace, collecting for Chiswick RNLI and offering water safety advice.
Founded in 1824, the RNLI is entirely funded by the public, from legacies and donations, with most of the members of its lifeboat crews unpaid volunteers. There are 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and RNLI Lifeguards operate on more than 200 beaches. The Lifeboat station on the Thames in Chiswick is the second busiest station in the UK. Chiswick RNLI have served over 4,000 emergency calls since their inception. Last year alone, they had 231 callouts, rescued 73 people, towed broken down vessels, offered critical medical care and saved the lives of a number of animals to boot.
Considerable effort is put into crew training as well as education for young people; more than 6,000 children a year are spoken to by Chiswick RNLI education volunteers. The institution as a whole has saved some 140,000 lives since its foundation, at a cost of more than 600 lives lost in service.
Mark Pusey, from the RNLI, said: “Chiswick RNLI is delighted to be working with our local football club, Brentford FC. The stunning new stadium is on our doorstep, even closer to our area of operations on the Thames. We are looking forward to engaging with the Brentford fans and friends, offering water safety advice, spreading the word about what we do on the river, and doing some essential fundraising at the ground. Up the Bees!"