Cancel RNLI donations?

People were shocked to find the RNLI saved people around the world

Independent

RNLI sees donations surge after criticism of work to save lives overseas

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution ( RNLI) has seen a "sharp increase" in online donations after being criticised for its work to prevent people drowning abroad.

The charity said it had been "encouraged" by the "very positive" response from many supporters following media reports about the RNLI sending millions of pounds to overseas projects while facing a funding shortfall.

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Why have people been cancelling their RNLI donations?

By Joe Harker

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, or RNLI, is a charity that saves lives at sea around the British Isles.

Primarily funded by donations, the charity has been hit by stormy weather recently as many people publicly announced they would not longer give their financial backing.

Do people have just cause to cancel their donations or are they wrong to withdraw funding from the charity?

The Claim:

People pulled donations after a story in the Mail on Sunday revealed that the RNLI was spending £3.3 million on operations abroad.

The Mail criticised them for spending millions on foreign projects at a time when they were cutting 135 jobs in the UK, questioning why an organisation posting a loss of £6.3 million was trying to help people outside their main areas of operation.

They questioned why cost cutting measures couldn't come down on foreign ventures first, saving more than half the money the charity was losing in a year.

They also reported the RNLI was planning on increasing the scope of its operations abroad, costing them even more money at a time when they were making a loss.

Nigel Evans and Andrew Bridgen, a pair of Tory MPs, questioned whether donors to the RNLI knew their money might not be going towards rescuing people off British coasts.

The Counter Claim:

While some people have publicly said they won't be donating to the RNLI any more, plenty of people have decided to take their place and donations have seen a "sharp increase".

The charity has been encouraged by the highly positive response to the news that they help people in foreign countries too.

They argued that their founder, Sir William Hillary, had created the RNLI with a vision to "extend our views from our own immediate coasts, to the most remote quarters of the globe, and to every neighbouring state", taking that as a cause worth pursuing.

Criticism of the RNLI has seen a huge swell of support for the charity, with people making a "vast" scope of donations to outweigh the negativity.

The Metro criticises the people withdrawing their donations for the RNLI as "racists" who wouldn't give money to save lives on British coasts if there was a small chance their money might go towards saving lives on foreign coasts.

The Facts:

The RNLI says 98 per cent of their funding is allocated for UK operations, but they insist it is right and proper that they share their skills across the world and help people off the shores of other parts of the world as best they can.

The charity is needed more than ever, launching its lifeboats 8,964 times along the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland in the past year. Over that time period saw funding drop £28.6 million as fewer donations were provided.

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations across the UK and Republic of Ireland. It has saved over 140,000 lives since being founded in 1824.

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