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RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Dom Fajkiel smiling, with the sea in the background.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor
Dom Fajkiel

Dom is a lifeguard supervisor at Weymouth Beach, Dorset, and has been with the RNLI ever since moving to the UK from Poland in 2015. Here, he shares his story.

Did you have any lifeguard experience before you moved to the UK?

I was lifeguarding on inland waters, but nothing by the coast – my skills weren't at the level of a beach lifeguard.

How did you become an RNLI lifeguard?

When I moved to the UK in 2015, I stayed around Weymouth and met the Lifeguard Team there. I got chatting to them and they piqued my interest in becoming an RNLI lifeguard. They were a huge help and gave me the details of the local supervisor at the time.

I had no lifeguarding qualifications, and my English wasn't the best. I also needed to adjust to life in the UK, and the RNLI were a huge help – the recruitment process was great.

An assessor was organised for me in Poole, Dorset, and I went there to do my lifeguarding assessment. There was also someone else in the RNLI who was Polish, so I got in contact with him to chat and learn more about the ins and outs of the job.

What do you do in your role as a lifeguard supervisor?

The start of the season very much focuses on recruitment, then after that we begin lifeguard inductions and training to make sure everyone is up to scratch.

Supervisors support the Lifeguard Team through regular 1-1 conversations, and making sure they have all the necessary equipment and training available so they can do their job to the best of their ability.

And, occasionally, I'll jump in red and yellow uniform to support the team if there is a need, so I don't forget how to lifeguard too.

As a team, what training do you do to improve your lifesaving skills?

Our team take part in joint exercises with the lifeboat crew to prepare for multi-agency rescues, and we get involved with the air ambulance and join their training. We tend to have one helicopter a year landing on one of our beaches, so it's good to work closely with them so they know what we are capable of and how they can utilise us. For example, we can assist with CPR while they do the more advanced medical work.

Thinking about becoming a lifeguard? 

Find out more about what’s involved and how to qualify.
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