A woman from Essex has left the RNLI a £1m legacy in a "wonderful gesture", according to local crews.
Her identity is not being made public but it is known that she regularly watched the lifeboat launch from her holiday home in Walton-on-the-Naze.
She never married nor had any children and was in her 90s when she died.
It is thought her gift to the Walton and Frinton lifeboat station could be more than £1m when the administration of the estate is complete.
The RNLI's lifeboat operations manager at Walton and Frinton, Phil Oxley, said: "It is not every day the RNLI receives a gift of more than £1m and this was a wonderful gesture."
Initially, the legacy will be used on crew training and on a lifejacket exchange programme for all the volunteers at Walton and Frinton.
It costs an average of £1,214 a year to train each crew member while a new lifejacket costs £385.
Sarah Halls, the RNLI's fundraising manager in the East, said: "Six out of ten lifeboat launches and rescues are only made possible because of legacy gifts, so a gift like this is vital to the RNLI."