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RNLI On The Lookout For New Beach Lifesavers

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is on the hunt for budding lifeguards to launch their lifesaving careers on some of the UK’s most popular beaches.

Recruitment for this season’s lifeguard team has started nationally in preparation for keeping the nation’s beachgoers safe this summer. The charity’s lifeguards not only rescue those in difficulty in the water, they also provide vital beach first-aid and safety advice to ensure visitors can return home safely.

In 2021, RNLI lifeguards responded to more than 18,000 incidents, helping nearly 41,000 people in need and saving 112 lives. In the same year, the charity’s lifeguards went to the aid of 925 paddleboarders, an increase of more than 500 from 2020, and in the last two years, the charity has saved the lives of 44 paddleboarders.

Former competitive SUP racer and Ollie Shilston has been an RNLI lifeguard for 15 years and is now a lead lifeguard supervisor for 16 beaches in Cornwall. He said:

‘Anyone into paddleboarding who’s wondering if lifeguarding is for them, just go for it, it’s probably the best job in the world. You’ve got the beach as your office, you’re working with a great team of like-minded people who enjoy the ocean, it keeps you fit and healthy and there are a load of transferrable skills you’ll already have from SUP.’

Successful applicants will receive world-class lifesaving training, enjoy good rates of pay, the possibility of flexible working patterns and develop valuable skills for a future career.

Mirren McTavish, RNLI lifeguard at Coldingham Bay in Scotland said:

‘To anyone thinking of becoming a lifeguard, just do it. It’s the best job, it’s so rewarding, and it keeps getting better – there’s so much opportunity for growth in the role. I love being outside on the beach all summer and sharing my knowledge with people. It often doesn’t feel like a job because I enjoy it so much, which is something a lot of lifeguards say.’

The 21-year-old university student says there is no better feeling than saving someone’s life. In her second lifeguard season, she saved a man who suffered a medical episode in the sea while snorkelling. Mirren said: ‘It was really rewarding knowing that I helped save a life that day. He came back to the beach to thank me and remembered me personally. It’s a great feeling being able to make a difference like that.’

Lee Fisher, Lifeguard Experience Manager said:

‘Beach lifeguarding is a great opportunity and a very rewarding role that changes lives – including your own – all whilst enjoying the beach as your office. Our lifeguards range from teenagers all the way up to lifesavers in their 70s, as long as you meet the fitness requirements and you are over school leaving age, there could be a role for you. 

‘The job also has great paths for progression – we have lifeguards who have been working for the RNLI for years, both on the beach and as part of our support teams, and the skills you gain can make an ideal first step towards many careers. It’s a great opportunity whether you want a rewarding summer job or to pursue a career in lifesaving.’

Find out more about becoming a lifeguard

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