The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has taken down its website after “suspicious activity” and said its staff had been sent threatening emails.
The charity’s website was reduced to a pared-back landing page on Friday afternoon after a suspected hacking attempt.
On the same day it said it had reminded its staff and volunteers to stay safe after threats were sent to workers. It said the threats had been reported to police.
The charity has come under increasing criticism from anti-migrant groups over its role in saving lives in the Channel, as people continue to attempt to cross from France in small boats.
Far-right party Britain First is among those to have attacked the RNLI, encouraging people to message the charity to tell it to stop saving people who get into difficulty trying to cross to England.
On 25 November, 27 people died when their craft sank after leaving French shores.
In response, the anti-racist Hope Not Hate group rallied behind the charity. It called for people to sign a petition in solidarity with them.
A RNLI spokesperson said: “The RNLI’s website has been the subject of suspicious activity today, Friday 3 December 2021. As a precaution, the RNLI has taken the decision to take down its website while investigating the activity. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and we’re working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
“In light of this suspicious activity, and following threatening emails that the charity has received and reported to the police today, the RNLI has taken the opportunity to remind its staff and volunteers to stay vigilant to keep themselves, their colleagues and RNLI systems safe.
“We are focused on our core purpose to save lives at sea and our 24/7 lifesaving service remains fully operational.”