IT’S the charity that’s been saving the lives of those in need at sea for almost two centuries.

The National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck – forerunners of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute – was founded March 4, 1824 and has been rescuing those in danger ever since.

The RNLI, whose main base is in Poole, Dorset, has 238 lifeboat stations and utilises 444 lifeboats.

These pictures were taken at an RNLI drill on September 23, 1978.