Isle of Wight RNLI Swim Safe team are the best!

Lifeboats News Release

The Isle of Wight RNLI Lifeboat Board are delighted to announce that its Swim Safe Team has just this week won ‘Overall Site of the Year’ in a national round of awards by Swim England for its work in 2018.

Picture of the Isle of Wight Swim Safe Team

RNLI/Mike Samuelson

The Isle of Wight Swim Safe team

Swim Safe, the national outdoor swimming and water safety programme for 7-14-year-olds was successfully delivered to over 1,600 children at Sandown Beach in July and August 2018. Created by Swim England and the RNLI, this free activity teaches children how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they get into trouble. In all, 29 sites around the UK delivered Swim Safe to over 24,000 children last summer.

The 60-minute sessions are run by qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards and supported by a team of volunteers.

Robin Ebsworth, Chairman of the Isle of Wight RNLI Board, paid tribute to the Team at the Board’s meeting this week, saying 'the dedication and enthusiasm of the instructors and leaders that sustained the programme over 6 weeks is inspiring to us all. We know from so many that have participated that this scheme helps to save lives and I am delighted that this award recognises our team’s contribution in helping to defeat drowning around the UK.'

Peter Baxter, the RNLI’s Swim Safe coordinator on the Isle of Wight, says:

‘I know the whole Team is pleased and proud to have made a difference to so many young people on the beach last summer. We are looking forward to doing it again in 2019’

The awards were made by the Swim Safe Delivery Team (made up of RNLI and Swim England staff) to partner organisations who deliver the training. The awards are a way of celebrating the nationwide success achieved by Swim Safe in 2018.

The Board is also delighted to announce that Swim Safe is coming back to Sandown for 2019! Following three weeks of sessions designed for schools classes from across the Island, public sessions will run on weekdays from 29 July to 16 August 2019. In all, over 2,100 places will be made available - keep checking to book online and look out for more publicity nearer the time.

Sandown Swimsafe Team Caption: left to right - Charlotte Francis [Swim England], Todd Miller [team leader], Amber Gardiner, Hannah Coulson Kurowski, Wendy Randall, JJ Hulford-Funnell & Peter Baxter [RNLI]


Media contacts

For more information, please contact:

RNLI HQ: Mike Carhart-Harris, Public Relations Manager (Campaigns), on 01202 663168 /

RNLI Isle of Wight: Mike Samuelson, Lifeboat Press Officer, Bembridge RNLI, on 01983 873180

Swim England: Alison Clowes, Head of Media and Public Affairs, on 07919 548039 /

Notes to Editors

About Swim Safe

Swim Safe was created by Swim England and the RNLI in 2013 to help children aged 7–14 stay safe while enjoying swimming outdoors.

From with a single scheme in Cornwall, Swim Safe has grown into a national programme spanning the UK. More than 24,000 children took part in a Swim Safe session at 29 locations in 2018.

In 2019, Swim Safe is coming to venues across the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales, alongside a range of local delivery partners.

Swim Safe’s goal is for all children in the UK and Ireland to grow up with the skills to stay safe in and around the open water. Find out more at

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all aquatic sports.

Swim England’s vision is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education programmes to develop the workforce. For more information, visit

About the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is the charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers 238 lifeboat stations provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland. Its seasonal lifeguards look after people on over 240 beaches and its flood rescue team helps those affected by flooding.

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.

RNLI crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives since 1824. But as well as rescuing people, the RNLI saves lives by influencing, supervising and educating people too. Its international teams also work with like-minded organisations to help tackle drowning around the world. For more information, visit

Photograph of the Swim Safe certificate


The Swim Safe certificate

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.