RNLI on the lookout for new beach lifesavers in East Sussex

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is on the hunt for budding lifeguards to launch their lifesaving careers on some of most popular beaches in East Sussex.

Recruitment for this season’s lifeguard team has started in preparation for keeping 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 ensure visitors can return home safely.

In 2022, the RNLI’s lifeguards in East Sussex responded to 359 incidents and helped 359 people in need.

Last summer, lifeguards helped swimmers caught out by strong currents, saved children being blown offshore on inflatables, came to the rescue of paddleboarders and gave critical first aid on beaches among the various incidents they attended.

Successful applicants will receive world-class lifesaving training, enjoy good rates of pay, the possibility of flexible working patterns and develop valuable skills for their future career.

Hugh Richardson, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for East Sussex, said:

‘Working as a beach lifeguard is a rewarding job that helps you develop many transferable skills for any career path. In addition, it helps you build confidence and leadership and improves your ability to work as part of a team, which often brings life-long friendships.

‘There is so much opportunity for progression in the role, and you make a huge difference in your community by preventing potentially life-threatening situations. We are looking for people willing to learn and put their training into action to make the right decision if someone’s life is in danger.

‘Interviews will be held from the beginning of March onwards, and we will be training our lifeguards from April up till July in preparation for the 2023 season. Our inductions include basic lifesaving skills, such as rescue board and tube training, and each lifeguard will undergo a three-day casualty care course, which prepares them when dealing with first aid interventions for the season ahead.

‘You don’t need to hold a valid qualification when applying for the role. We can help you gain the qualifications you need to become a lifeguard and point you in the right direction with how and where to obtain them. The lifeguards will be patrolling beaches in East Sussex from 7 April till 1 October 2023.

Ed Stevens, RNLI Regional Lifeguard Lead, said: ‘Beach lifeguarding is a fantastic opportunity and a rewarding role that changes lives – including your own – all while 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 16 years old, 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.’

Find out more about becoming a lifeguard at rnli.org/BeALifeguard.

The RNLI is looking for individuals who hold a National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ), ILS Beach/Surf Lifeguard award or equivalent. If you do not hold one, there will be courses running with more details available through these here and here.


Notes to editors

· The fitness requirements for lifeguards are to be able to:

    • complete a 400m pool swim in under 7½ minutes, the first 200m of which must be completed in under 3½ minutes.
    • complete a 25m pool swim underwater and a 25m surface swim consecutively in under 50 seconds.
    • complete a 200m beach run in under 40 seconds.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 07827 358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected]. Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected].

Photo of RNLI lifeguard on a beach with rescue board


The RNLI is on the lookout for new lifeguards this summer.

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.

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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.