Swimming Events Guide 2024
RNLI lifeguards

RNLI on the lookout for new lifeguards

The RNLI is on the hunt for budding lifeguards to launch their lifesaving careers on the UK’s most popular beaches

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has launched recruitment for this season’s lifeguard team 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 visitors.

In 2021, RNLI lifeguards responded to more than 18,000 incidents, helping nearly 41,000 people in need and saving 112 lives.

Exciting opportunities

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.”

A rewarding career

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.”

If you’re interested in becoming a lifeguard for the RNLI, visit rnli.org/BeALifeguard

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Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.