UK: RNLI accused of becoming a “taxi service” for migrants

UK’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution loses donations after supporters found out they are “turning down calls from stricken boaters because it is too busy carrying migrants ashore.”

  • The RNLI has been slammed for becoming a “taxi service for people traffickers,” as they have been using lifeboats to transfer migrants through the Channel.
  • Supporters of the charity have been since withdrawing donations. 
  • CEO Mark Dowie defends his crews, stating this is “humanitarian work.”

It was recently claimed that the RNLI is delaying rescue work because of the numerous migrants they are picking up in the English Channel. Meanwhile, some of the institution’s supporters canceled their donations to the institution.

Following the revelation that RNLI teams have been traveling to French waters to pick up refugees, Britain’s lifeboat service has been accused of becoming a “taxi service for people traffickers.” 

Speaking to Daily Mail, a lifeboat expert working regularly in the Channel said:

“I’ve had a few RNLI crew tell me about them refusing to help boaters as they are too busy carrying people ashore.”

This comes shortly after the number of people who died during the recent heatwave in UK water reached 13.

The RNLI has been also slammed for becoming obsessed with political correctness in the last several years. 

The British institution, founded in 1824, has been accused of obsession with political correctness, leading to a wave of resignations among volunteers.

Nevertheless, according to an RNLI spokeswoman, it was the coastguard that was sending them into French waters.

“Across the UK and Ireland, the RNLI ensures that assets are in place for maximum resilience along our coasts. HM Coastguard coordinate maritime search and rescue activity around the UK coastline and are responsible for tasking the most appropriate assets to respond to incidents at sea.”

The RNLI denied their recent Twitter campaign defending their migrants’ policy aimed to raise more funds. In an interview with PA Media, Mark Dowie, head of Britain’s lifeboat service, defended the lifeboat crews for rescuing migrants:

“Well, essentially what we’re doing is bringing people to safety… It’s a very very frightening environment for those people.”

RNLI’s CEO added:

“Well, this is humanitarian work. This is people doing the right thing.” 

Prior to the pandemic, Dowie warned that the charity was facing “major challenges” after making a loss of £6.3 million($8.7M).

RNLI was also heavily criticized after advertising for a £42,000-a-year($58,000) safeguarding officer to promote “health, safety, and wellbeing.” The company also has a “national team of health, safety, and environment advisers,” and a “diversity leadership group” promoting the “International Day Against Homophobia.”

Besides, around 2% of RNLI’s income goes on overseas projects in Africa and Asia. However, they insist this does not affect their domestic rescue services.

In 2016, the lifeboat service announced it was providing training to Greek, German, Dutch, and Swedish organizations to help save migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece.

Stating their position on the current scandal, in a pinned Twitter post, RNLI said:

“We’re proud of the lifesaving work our volunteers do in the Channel – we make no apology for it.”

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