Frequently Asked Questions

About the service

This service notifies you of RNLI lifeboats that have launched. The service is connected to the system that pages our lifeboat crew - so when they get the call, you do too.

To sign up to receive launch alerts, your phone needs to be able to respond to a 5 digit shortcode. Some mobile network providers do not currently support this feature, and it is currently unavailable in the Republic of Ireland or the Isle of Man. If your phone cannot reply to a shortcode, then unfortunately you will not be able to receive launch alerts.

See the full terms and conditions here. Note that this service is only available on UK mobile phones.


You will be charged 25p for each SMS received. You can set a limit on how much you're willing to spend per week. If you reach your limit, we will not send you any more launch alerts until the following week.

This depends on your mobile service provider. For every 25p alert you get, the RNLI will receive between 7p and 10.5p. The rest of the money goes to your service provider.

Once you reach your maximum spend, you will receive no more alerts, regardless of launches, until the following week.

Signing Up

You can sign up online here. As part of the process, you will be able to choose which lifeboat stations you want to follow, set a limit on how many texts you get, and set which times of day you're happy to receive alerts. Once you have selected your preferences and confirmed your details, you will receive a text message, to which you'll need to reply. This confirms that we have the right number for you.

We do this to make sure that only you can set up alerts for your mobile phone.

You need to be the owner of the mobile phone or have the express permission of the owner. As part of the sign-up process you will receive an SMS, to which you'll need to respond.

Managing my alerts

Log in using your mobile phone number and your PIN. If you forget your PIN, you can request a new one on the login page.

There are two ways:

  • Reply to a launch alert with a mesage saying 'stop'
  • Log in to the launch alerts website, go to 'Preferences' and click 'Cancel Service'

You can also choose to pause your alerts for a certain time period - for example if you are going on holiday abroad.

Yes, you can pause the service for a specified period of time. Log in, go to 'My details' and select 'Pause service'.

Log in to your account. You'll see a list on the right-hand side of the page, under 'Your stations'.

You will need to cancel the service to your old number and sign up again with your new number.

Sometimes, a network operator will add a new number prefix and not tell us about it. If you see the "number not recognised" message, please text RNLI VALID to 83311 and the system will update your number prefix. When you receive your confirmation message you will be able to log in.


For operational reasons, there is a 20-minute delay on our launch alerts. Other delays beyond our control can sometimes occur, depending on your mobile provider.

No, you can only choose the time of day.

No. The week runs from Monday to Sunday.