Lifeguard FAQs

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our lifeguards.

Want to know more? See our lifeguards and beaches pages.

How many lifeguards do you have on patrol?

Throughout the summer, there are some 1,500 RNLI lifeguards on patrol.

How many beaches are patrolled by RNLI lifeguards?

RNLI Lifeguards patrolled over 240 beaches around the UK and the Channel Islands. 

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach.

Do you receive funding towards the lifeguard service you provide?

We receive a small amount from the appropriate local authorities and beach owners which helps to meet the cost of lifeguard wages, but the majority of funding for our lifeguard service is from voluntary contributions.

As a charity, 94 per cent of our total income comes from donations and so our lifesaving service relies on the generosity of our supporters. Read more about how your support helps.

Why are lifeguards paid?

Lifeguards need to be physically on the beach during the patrolled hours, ready to respond instantly to emergencies and preventing many accidents through their vigilance and advice. Because of this requirement we cannot completely rely on volunteers to provide this coverage 7 days a week.

Learn more about the role of an RNLI lifeguard.

How do I apply to become an RNLI lifeguard?

You can apply to be an RNLI lifeguard via our recruitment website.

How do I volunteer to become an RNLI lifeguard?

Volunteering is a great way of gaining practical lifeguarding experience if you are newly qualified or putting your skills to good use if you are experienced and have some spare time.

Find out more about lifeguard volunteer opportunities on our recruitment website.

What are the latest rescue statistics for your lifeguard service?

In 2018, RNLI lifeguards helped 32,207 people and saved 118 lives.

For more rescue statistics see our annual review and report.