RLSS launches new open water lifeguard qualification

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Drowning Prevention Charity, has launched a new qualification. The Open Water Lifeguard qualification aims to keep the rapidly increasing number of open water swimmers in the UK safe and supports RLSS UK’s bid to increase the number of safe open water swimming sites in the UK.

The new qualification is a ‘bolt-on’ module to the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) and is therefore open to more than 90,000 trained NPLQ lifeguards. 

“We are thrilled to announce our Open Water Lifeguard qualification and enable our army of RLSS UK pool lifeguards to qualify and experience another avenue in their careers,” said Adrian Lole, RLSS UK Technical Director. “Open water swimming is the fastest growing sport worldwide and there is a real opportunity for leisure providers and local authorities to expand their services into open water. 

There is currently no industry best practice in open water safety. This new qualification aims to raise the bar and equip lifeguards with the right skills to supervise and provide rescue for open water swimmers during training and controlled activities such as open water swims, triathlons and adventure swim races.

“We want open water swimmers to be able to swim in the knowledge the lifeguards are highly trained, but also want lifeguards trained in our qualification to make it possible for more open water swimming sites to be available to the public,” Lole added.

We attended a training course for the new lifeguard qualification last October. See the current issue of H2Open Magazine for a closer look at the new qualification. 

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Jonathan is a year-round skins swimmer with a particular love of very cold water. He has competed in ice swimming competitions around the world. He is a qualified open water coach with a particular love of introducing new swimmers to the open water.