RNLI recruiting volunteers and taking paddleboarding to the Royal Cornwall Show

Lifeguards News Release

From Thursday 8 to Saturday 10 June 2023 the RNLI will be at the Royal Cornwall Show. The charity will be at two stands (292 and 496) in the show grounds, providing showgoers with the chance to learn more about volunteering prospects within the charity and the opportunity to try paddleboarding

Recruitment of new RNLI volunteers across all areas including fundraising, retail, visits teams, operations and water safety will be available to learn about at stand 292, with a particular focus on engagement volunteer opportunities. At stand 496, visitors will be educated on water safety with the chance to try paddleboarding using a simulator and go away equipped with all the information needed to take part in the sport safely.

Dave Nicoll, RNLI fundraising and partnership lead in the south west says;

‘Our staff and volunteers will be at the show to talk to the public about our amazing volunteering roles available within the charity. With the RNLI’s 200 year anniversary approaching next year, this is an exciting time to get involved with all of our activities ahead of the anniversary year in 2024. Become a volunteer for the RNLI and you'll be part of a lifesaving tradition that has been going strong since 1824.’

Over the last 10 years the popularity of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has increased hugely. In 2021, RNLI lifeguards responded to 504 incidents involving paddleboards, an increase of 132% from 2020, similarly, RNLI lifeboat crews responded to 144 incidents in 2021, an increase of 64% on 2020.

RNLI Volunteer Water Safety Officer, Simon Hannaford said;

‘It is great to see more people enjoying the coastline and getting involved in these wonderful water-based activities, however we are seeing an increase in the number of incidents our lifeguards and lifeboat crew are being called to. It is essential that people wanting to take part are aware of the risks and are well prepared before going to sea.’

Visitors to the RNLI stand will have an opportunity to give stand-up paddleboarding a go on a specially designed SUP ergometer, like a rowing machine for paddleboarding. The machine can be set to replicate the feeling of paddling in the water in different wind and tidal conditions to help illustrate how challenging it can be in different environments.

Simon adds;

‘We hope giving it a go in safety will ensure those new to the sport are as prepared as possible. Our water safety experts will also be able to provide advice on the best safety equipment, lifejackets, and leashes to enjoy the sport safely, as well as advice on any other water activities.’

Notes to Editors

  • Media, please do come and visit the RNLI stands (496 and 292) where there will be RNLI spokespeople available to interview and you can have a go at paddleboarding on the SUP ergo and learn more about volunteer recruitment.
  • If you’d like to set an interview up before or during the show, please call Emily or Amy on the details below.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Emily Bray, RNLI Media Engagement Placement (South West) on 07929 673281 or [email protected] or [email protected] Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or [email protected]

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org.uk News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre rnli.org.uk/press.

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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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.