TikToking RNLI lifesaver gives a glimpse behind the scenes this Volunteers’ Week

Lifeboats News Release

A Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer has taken to social media platform TikTok to give his 15,000 followers a behind the scenes peek at what being a lifesaver involves.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

RNLI volunteer Josh Owens

Josh Owens, has been a crew member at Portsmouth RNLI for three years and has taken part in a number of rescues, helping bring loved ones back to family and friends.

Josh is just one of the thousands of dedicated RNLI volunteers, with 95% of the lifesaving charity made up of people donating their time for free - from more than 20,000 fundraisers to educators, shop workers and more than 5,500 lifeboat crew, the RNLI has a wide variety of roles that all contribute to saving lives at sea.

Josh said: ‘Since joining as a volunteer, I’ve witnessed first-hand the impact you can make on people’s lives and I’m volunteering among some incredible people to really make a difference.’

Josh, 28, has not only been busy saving lives at sea but in recent months has created his own TikTok channel, giving his own, unique behind-the-scenes perspective of volunteering for the RNLI and engaging with thousands of followers on the social media platform.

Josh highlight’s vital safety messaging, RNLI facts, how to get involved and what it is like to be at the sharp end of saving lives at sea. In one of his most recent live streams, followers witnessed his pager going off which saw Josh drop everything to get to the lifeboat station to launch the lifeboat – with more than 200,000 plays.

Josh said: ‘Like many, I found myself with time on my hands during lockdown and started watching a few videos on TikTok.

‘They were really quite engaging and fun so I thought I’d try my hand at sharing a few stories and clips about my time as an RNLI volunteer.

‘Since starting my own TikTok channel in November I’ve been overwhelmed at how well it’s been received, and I have almost 15,000 followers.

‘I’ve really enjoyed engaging with supporters and I’ve even been asked about how people can get involved with volunteering themselves.

‘My advice is to pop down to your local lifeboat station to find out more or take a look at the RNLI website – I’ve certainly never looked back.’

On Thursday 3rd of June at 7:30pm, as part of Volunteers’ Week, you can meet Josh ‘virtually’ on the RNLI Instagram page as he takes part in a live interview talking about all things from saving lives to volunteering.

To find out more about volunteering for the RNLI please visit https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer/be-a-lifeboat-station-volunteer

To support RNLI lifesavers, please visit RNLI.org/Go Donate

Notes to editors

· Search @owens377 to view Josh’s TikTok profile and creations

· Josh is available for interview upon request

· Josh will give a live interview on the main RNLI Instagram account - https://www.instagram.com/rnli/

· Photos of Josh available

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Dave Riley, RNLI National Media Officer on 07795 015042 or [email protected] or RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.