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Old 09 June 2004, 19:09   #1
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DON'T support the RNLI . . .

No, this isn't a wind up -- although it may cause some discussion!

< Edit: Before wading in to "defend" the RNLI please read and digest the whole of this post. They don't need defending, because I'm not attacking them. JK >

The RNLI do a fantastic job. They save lives. They have brave and dedicated crews. You may need their help one day. So why not support them?

Simply because there are other rescue organisations that need your money more. As a high profile national charity with obvious emotional appeal (just imagine being shipwrecked in a storm . . .) the RNLI is extraordinarily well funded.

There are 1,600 fundraising branches all over the country. A Google search for RNLI fundraising comes up with 5,820 results. You only need to look at an RNLI lifeboat or lifeboat station to see how much money there is -- they have the best of everything, which of course they richly deserve.

However there is also a network of independent lifeboat organisations who don't have access to the vast fundraising network of the RNLI. They do the same job. They are Declared Rescue Facilities, available to HM Coastguard in exactly the same way as the RNLI. Their volunteer crews are just as dedicated and brave. But they have to scrimp and save for everything and their facilities are generally way below the level of a comparable RNLI station.

These will never get the attention of the Women's Institute branches in the Midlands, or manage to form a Fundraising Guild in Wisbech way inland.

The overwhelming majority of general public support will never even know about the other lifeboat services. However, as a small but well informed user group, we are in a position to really make a difference without having any significant effect on the RNLI.

Unlike the £274,000 that the RNLI spends every day, relatively small amounts of money can make a big difference to these independent organisations. In most cases every penny that is donated will go directly to providing the rescue service. Around 80% of the money donated to the RNLI goes to the operations budget, the remainder going on fundraising and admin.

As an illustration, let's assume that we have 5,000 members who currently each donate £10 a year to the RNLI. That brings in £50,000. It's a made up figure, but it gives some sort of idea of the order of magnitude that we're talking about.

As part of the RNLI's annual operating budget of over £100,000,000 it relatively insignificant. For an organisation like GAFIRS with annual operating costs of £35,000 who are trying to raise £300,000 to extend their building and purchase a new boat, it would be a hugely significant amount.

So if you're going to donate money for a lifeboat, why not put it where your contribution will really make difference?

Here are some candidates you might like to consider:

Gosport And Fareham Inshore Rescue Service
www.gafirs.org.uk

Cowes Inshore Lifeboat
www.cowesinshorelifeboat.org.uk

Hamble Lifeboat
www.hamblelifeboat.org.uk

Ryde Inshore Rescue
www.ryde-inshore-rescue.org.uk

Southport Offshore Rescue Trust
www.southport-lifeboat.co.uk

Severn Area Rescue Association
www.sara-rescue.org.uk

The Portishead Lifeboat Trust
www.portishead-lifeboat.org.uk

Humber Rescue
www.humber-rescue.org.uk

Hornsea Rescue
www.hornsea.rescue.btinternet.co.uk

East Sutherland Rescue Association
www.esra-dornochlifeboat.freeserve.co.uk

Loughor Inshore Lifeboat
www.sea-rescue.de/loughor-lifeboat

Haverigg Inshore Rescue
www.haverigginshore.co.uk

Following on from Mike B's brilliant fundraising auction I would like to look at other ways that we can raise money, and nominate the independent life boat organisations as RIBnet's chosen group of charities.

John
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Old 09 June 2004, 19:44   #2
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Good point JK, Have always supported the RNLI as I kind of feel I owe it to them as I may need them someday, but I know how much cash they have and sometimes think that they don't need it! Would be a problem if everyone stopped supporting them but as you say my donations may do more good somewhere else, so I will be supporting Humber rescue from now on!
Mike B definitely deserves congratulations and I would support your plans for Ribnet to back these other independent institutions - especially as they all(?) use ribs it's appropriate.
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Old 09 June 2004, 21:01   #3
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I am glad somebody else has mentiond this

I am more than prepared to provide a boat and driver for any fundraising days these orginisations may have perhaps if anyone else is then a paid treasure hunt could be orgainsed
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Old 09 June 2004, 22:12   #4
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I am finding it hard to believe that you started this John and you must have your tongue firmly inside your cheek??
You are talking Amateurs v Professionals here and though the local groups may have the best will in the world, I for one know who I would rather be rescued by when the chips are really down??
Surely the more money the RNLI raise the better the equipment they can provide, unless you are suggesting that they put it all in their savings account?
Yes, the local boys can probably provide a service if you break down but what happens in real heavy weather, or if you have a serious injury onboard(I know it is emotive but you never know)?
The number of groups that you mention and I bet there are many more?? I reckon you can compare them with helping out the Fire Brigade:
I'VE GOT A FAST CAR AND A BUCKET OF WATER?
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Old 10 June 2004, 01:50   #5
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Of course it all begs the question...why the heck is our national maritime rescue service funded only by charity anyway?

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Old 10 June 2004, 02:08   #6
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JK,

I couldn't agree more, you only need to take a look at the new development in Poole. Millions are being spent on new buildings for the training college and offices, and although it's something that they obviously need, you have to ask if they really need to be so extravagant in design and cost.

I also have a few mates who work at the headquarters, and they can tell you some incredible stories of how money is wasted!!!

I stopped donating several years ago, and give the few meagre pounds that I can afford to my local "Waggi Tails" charity.
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Old 10 June 2004, 02:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noddy
I for one know who I would rather be rescued by when the chips are really down??
I think you hit the nail on the head with that comment, surely the important bit is being rescued, and I dont suppose you would really care who it was that rescued you.

Or would you tell the old lady in the rowing boat to go away, cause you'd rather wait for an Arrun Class!

And as for the fast car and bucket of water, if it puts me shed fire out it would do for me!!!
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Old 10 June 2004, 03:39   #8
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I also agree JK......the amount of money wasted in the RNLI isunbelievable and i wouldnt want to think that my hard earned donations are being burnt this way.

OK, its a great service and a brilliant reassurance that theyre there but everything they have and do seems to be OTT.....i.e. designing their own boats from scratch and building them (atlantic 75 etc) when very very similar alternatives are available from existing manufacturers (if not better).

If we were all to donate to the independant services, they too could reach this or a similar standard of training and therefore, people would not have the opinion of them being inadequate and incapable.

Speaking with regards to my local inshore station of whom most of the crew i am friendly with, you really get to hear the truth about what they get upto etc

Not suggesting that theyre incapable for a moment but they havent all got this huge wealth of knowledge that people percieve them as having! Most of them work in offices (no disrespect) and have had no boating experience bar the odd exercise and odd RNLI training course.

If you knew the truth about some of the people on the crews, you wouldnt want them rescuing you!

Cant comment on the ALB's but i am sure that they are a different kettle of fish! In their case, you really do have to be s*it hot!!

Anyway, back to the cash situation.....a mate of mine on the crew locally is off to Cowes in a few weeks top do a 'crew' course.

As he put it...he gets a week playing on boats for free, transport/food/beer/acommodation is paid for plus he gets paid £350 to go for loss of earnings. However, hes unemployed so hes quids in!! Surely some research as to employment status on their part would save many many cases such as that and ultimately save much money.

The list goes on..........needless to say that i still respect them all for their time and effort.

Id be worried if they werent there!!

Just voicing my opinions for what their worth and speaking from experience with them!?

Cheers

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Old 10 June 2004, 03:47   #9
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Ever controversial eh JK?!

I subscribe to RNLI with regular DD payment and frankly for the national coverage I think its a worthy cause. BUT you are absolutely right there are a large number of independent rescue organisations who a JUST as professional, JUST as important and JUST as committed. They deserve our support too.

One you've missed from your list is Caister Volunteer Lifeboat:

http://www.rjt.co.uk/Caister_Lifeboat/

"Caister men never turn back!"

Alan
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Old 10 June 2004, 03:50   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb

OK, its a great service and a brilliant reassurance that theyre there but everything they have and do seems to be OTT.....i.e. designing their own boats from scratch and building them (atlantic 75 etc) when very very similar alternatives are available from existing manufacturers (if not better).
Halmatic Hull
fitted out to their high standard (RNLI) by the guys and girls at East Cowes,
same could be said for some of the indendant ILB'S some on the Island leave alot to be desired re their experience, would you want to be rescued by the RNLI if you knew they used sub standard equipment , lets not start knocking
a bloody excellent organisation, if you are worried by the standard of training experience why don,t you join as a volunteer crew member.
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Old 10 June 2004, 04:01   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noddy
I am finding it hard to believe that you started this John and you must have your tongue firmly inside your cheek??
No, the subject title may be deliberately provocative but I am absolutely serious.
Quote:
You are talking Amateurs v Professionals here
No, I'm talking about poorly funded amateurs v well funded amateurs. With a few exceptions, RNLI crews are not professional rescue crews. They are dedicated, part time volunteers the same as the independent crews.
Quote:
and though the local groups may have the best will in the world, I for one know who I would rather be rescued by when the chips are really down??
Why? I would rather that my nearest lifeboat was properly funded and equipped, irrespective of which organisation runs it.
Quote:
Surely the more money the RNLI raise the better the equipment they can provide, unless you are suggesting that they put it all in their savings account?
How much more money could they possibly need? They already have more than they can spend.
Quote:
Yes, the local boys can probably provide a service if you break down but what happens in real heavy weather, or if you have a serious injury onboard(I know it is emotive but you never know)?
I would say that you are seriously underestimating the capabilities of the independent lifeboat crews.
Quote:
The number of groups that you mention and I bet there are many more?? I reckon you can compare them with helping out the Fire Brigade:
I'VE GOT A FAST CAR AND A BUCKET OF WATER?
There may indeed be some more. They probably need your help too. If you think it's easy, try phoning up the Coastguard and saying "I've got a fast RIB and a lifebelt, can I be a Declared Rescue Facility?"

John
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Old 10 June 2004, 04:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noddy
You are talking Amateurs v Professionals here and though the local groups may have the best will in the world, I for one know who I would rather be rescued by when the chips are really down??

Yes, the local boys can probably provide a service if you break down but what happens in real heavy weather, or if you have a serious injury onboard
I think you will find that most of the independant rescue boats are in areas where the RNLI have deemed it is not necessary for them to staion a lifeboat. Such as the River Severn and Cowes (seems strange when they build ILB's there).

With regards to your second point, if the injury is that serious then the Coasturd would probably have sent a helicopter.

(These are my opinions and nothing to do with the MCA)
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Old 10 June 2004, 04:13   #13
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I would turn the question on its head. Why are the independent services set up in the first place? Why doesn't the RNLI set up a rescue service in the Gosport and Fareham area or fund those who are providing the service? The RNLI recently put a lifeboat on the Thames, so why not the Hamble? Anyone from the RNLI who knows the answer?

Also I suspect that the vast majority of people who give to charity want to cover one sector with a single donation. So its one donation for starving children, one the furry animals and if you are lucky, one for the rescue services and the RNLI has the best chance of getting the latter.
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Old 10 June 2004, 04:14   #14
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The lifeboats and Coastguard station were put on the Thames as a result of the Martioness Accident.
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Old 10 June 2004, 04:26   #15
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Some cracking points JK

You have made some very very valid points JK.

Noddy, if these other boats and crews were not up to scratch the HMGC would not use them as a rescue resource.
They would just be ignored and the boats would never be turned out.
HMGC do use them and do activate them.
They are a welcome and vital resource.

As some have said, its not important who aids you just as long as the aid gets to you in time.

I would rather any rescue crew than a well meaning WAFI!!!

We here give them the same deal on kit as the RNLI and always will while I sit in this chair.

Having been involed in the VAS (Voluntry Aid Societies) for well over 20 years I know how they get treated by the full timers!!

I have worked along side my regualr mates in the ambulance service many times, we are needed and required.
That why the "Ambulance Reserve" now exists.

Bit like Specials by regular Plod!!!
Retains by regular Trumpton!!!

The main difference here is that all crew are volunteers.

Just all IMHO.

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Old 10 June 2004, 04:49   #16
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very intresting points

i don,t argee with not supporting the RLNI but where the money is spent
new dry suit or new office chair in pool begs the queston which would you like to fund
i must addmit the new trainning centre is well over the top and will cost loads
to build and run

and i do argee with john that lots of other service require funding take the coast gaurd they all used landrover defenders with capstans fitted then the
bean counters came in now astra estates not the same. most stations have closed down and worst of all no air cover over the channel it all flys down
from up north then has to refuel before going out
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Old 10 June 2004, 04:58   #17
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As far as I am aware the only Professionals RNLI crew are the oneís stationed on the Thames in London, all the rest are volunteers! People do seam to take the word profanely the wrong way, all it means is you are paid to do the job it dose not mean you are any good at it! Not saying that the crew are not well trained!
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Old 10 June 2004, 05:15   #18
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In 2001 the RNLI lost £36 million speculating on the stock market leaving them with £148 million operating reserve equivalent to 22 months operation. When my grandmother left the RNLI £5000 in her Will she thought it would go to a man dressed in wet weather gear heading out in a storm to save a mariners life. She did not give this money to the RNLI for them to play Ďbig businessí games.
It makes me very angry when you see this type of legalized manipulation, the RNLI fund raise using a picture of a volunteer saying that it cost £X to cloth him, £Y to buy his life jacket etc etc what they do not say is how much the rest of it costs or how much they are going to gamble on the stock market.
Donít get me wrong, I think the guys who actually do the work are great but the management of the RNLI is flawed and do not deserve our support. Any CEO who presides over a 10% loss should resign. But no doubt they are all slapping themselves on the back with big bonuses contributed by mislead little old ladies.

Iíve really got my angry head on this morning. Des
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Old 10 June 2004, 05:19   #19
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Funding...

I've heard (but I don't remember where) that the RNLI has been so successful at fund-raising that they are at risk of losing their charitable status. Whilst all organisations of that size need an infrastucture and facilities, why spend it on OTT facilities, even if it CAN (currently) afford it?

As the RNLI seem to be SOOOO good at raising cash, surely the money would be better spent by either:

(1) Establishing stations in the regions that currently don't have them, OR

(2) By affiliating with and supporting all the independants and making sure that they are all trained up and funded as part of a wider national sea rescue organisation.

Make any sense?

Dylan...
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Old 10 June 2004, 05:24   #20
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Despite the title, I don't want this to turn into an exercise in knocking the RNLI

Thay seem to be open about where the money goes: 80% on operational costs, 17% on fundraising, 3% on admin according to their web site. Their reserve of £148 million is undoubtedly a vast amount of money, but having a couple of years funding in the bank is a good position to be in. The numbers seem huge because of the scale of the operation.

On the other hand the independent lifeboat organisations don't have any reserves to guarantee their future, and don't even have sufficient capital for day to day expenditure . . .

John
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