THE RNLI is the latest charity to reveal it has been hard hit financially by the coronavirus crisis.

The Welsh Air Ambulance last week launched an emergency appeal in a bid to bolster its funds and many other charities are struggling with shops closed and fund-raising events cancelled.

Now the RNLI - which has stations at Angle, Fishguard, St Davids, Tenby, and Little and Broad Haven - has said it is going to put 30 per cent of its staff on furlough though lifeboats staffed by volunteer crews will continue to launch to help those in trouble at sea.

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said: ‘The coronavirus outbreak is testing many charities and emergency services across the UK and Ireland, and the RNLI is no different. We have some reserves in place to deal with short sharp shocks to our financial situation.

“However, we are all facing unprecedented times and we have seen an immediate impact not just on our frontline services, but also on our ability to fundraise which is already having an impact on our finances.

‘We don’t know how long the coronavirus situation will affect us and we need to take what action we can – now and in the next weeks and months – to make sure our charity is in the best position possible to weather this storm.

“This is my watch and it’s my responsibility to make sure the RNLI is here to save lives at sea in the future.

‘We have paused our ongoing planned replacement of equipment and buildings, such as lifeboat station rebuilds and building new lifeboats.

“We’re also looking at new ways to fundraise online and on social media, I’ve also made the decision to reduce my salary by 50% from now until this crisis has passed.

“Everyone in the RNLI – supporters, volunteers, staff – are all going above and beyond to get us through these challenging times and I want to make my contribution to the charity I love, beyond my day-to-day work leading this amazing lifesaving service.

‘We are also planning to put, initially, around 30% of staff on furlough over the next few weeks.

“As a charity, we have to take a pragmatic approach in these difficult times and make sure we’re focusing our supporters’ donations on maintaining our lifesaving service for generations to come.

‘I want to pay tribute to all our supporters, volunteers and staff. Even in these most testing of times our dedicated lifeboat crew, along with all those who support them, continue to ensure our vital search and rescue service remains on service across the UK and Ireland, ready to save every one in trouble at sea.

“They need people’s support more than ever in these unprecedented times.’

The RNLI has already paused the roll-out of its seasonal lifeguard service in response to the UK Government’s instructions for people to stay at home.

RNLI shops and museums have been closed since March 23 and, with local fundraisers unable to hold events or collections, the charity’s annual community-based fundraising campaign, Mayday, has had to be scaled back.

It is now looking at ways to replace cancelled events with online fundraising at