TODAY is London Lifeboat Day - the biggest fundraising day for one of the most integral lifesaving services across the capital.
It is the only day in the year the RNLI has permission from the city's authorities to collect donations on the streets of London, anywhere inside the M25.
Volunteers at 60 locations all around London, including Chiswick and Hammersmith, started bucket shaking in the early hours of the morning at 6am for the charity. Every penny collected on London Lifeboat Day will help the RNLI in its mission to save lives in London and around the coast of the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
The charity operates four lifeboat stations in London on the Thames, which many people who live and work in the capital do not realise.
Natalie Fischer, fundraising manager for the RNLI in London said: "It’s amazing that two of the Thames stations – Tower and Chiswick – have been the busiest lifeboat stations across the entire RNLI in recent years, yet there are people who still don’t know lifeboats even operate in London.
"Last year’s London Lifeboat Day raised more than £88,800 and for 2013 we’re really hoping we can break the £100,000 barrier."
It costs the RNLI £1,255 each year to train a volunteer lifeboat crew member, and costs £520,000 each year to run and maintain a full-time Thames lifeboat station such as Chiswick.
Ms Fischer added: "It’s a rare opportunity when we are permitted to collect at all of these places which are usually off limits the rest of the year. If you see our collectors with their yellow and red mock lifeboat crew outfits and collection buckets, please do say hello and donate if at all possible."
In 2012, Chiswick lifeboat station launched its boat 221 times, with 97 rescues. Olympic champion Greg Searle and Mercedes F1 boss Ross Brawn both named two new, faster, lifeboats at Chiswick RNLI in October last year after the charity was left a sizeable sum by two Londoners in their will.