Monday 30th April 2012
Many Londoners forget the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) when naming the Thames' emergency services despite it rescuing thousands of people in the past decade.
A survey of 1,137 people carried out by YouGov shows that just one in six Londoners named the charity among the emergency services operating on the capital's river.
The findings come despite the charity, which saves lives at sea, setting up four lifeboat stations along the river 10 years ago following the Marchioness boat disaster.
Since then the search and rescue stations at Tower, Chiswick, Teddington and Gravesend, have helped to save 2,600 people.
Andrew Ashton, RNLI divisional Inspector, said: "As a charity that relies on public donations to be able to launch lifeboats to assist people in distress, public awareness is crucial to us.
"This study showed that just one in six Londoners is aware that the RNLI even operates on the Thames, despite the fact that last year Tower lifeboat launched 522 times and assisted a total of 89 people. Furthermore, Chiswick lifeboat launched 228 times and assisted 111 people."
The figures have been released ahead of the RNLI's London Lifeboat Day on May 1, which aims to raise funds to ensure the charity's life-saving missions can continue.
During the day volunteers will be visiting more than 50 train and tube stations across London from 7am to 7pm in a bid to raise funds.