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RNLI Father and Son duo take to the beach to celebrate Father’s Day

Lifeguards News Release

With Father’s Day this Sunday (18 June), Pembrokeshire Lifeguards welcome a Father and Son duo to their team.

RNLI/Anya Walton

Tom Owen (49) and Cai Owen (16) are from Haverfordwest in West Wales. Tom joined the RNLI last summer as a lifeguard in North Pembrokeshire, his son is following in his footsteps in joining the team this season.

As a 49-year-old, Tom is the most senior Lifeguard in North Pembrokeshire’s team. When asked about how he got into the job he responded:

‘The seed was sown when in school I completed the old bronze medallion lifesaving award. I then had the opportunity to work as a beach lifeguard for the local council before the RNLI days during my summer holidays. My interest grew whilst in Australia, so I spent a couple of summers out there volunteering mainly for surf lifesaving clubs.

Joining the RNLI has always appealed to me and now that my children are old enough, I took the opportunity to give it a go. My interests outside work mainly include surfing, cycling and trying to stay fit.

My age was never a consideration of mine when applying for the job. I’ve always enjoyed working in a team who share the same goals and work ethic. Even despite the 30-year age gap between most, I don’t feel out of place. I joined the team in 2022, it’s great to be outside on local beaches where I grew up. It’s hugely satisfying knowing I’m helping to provide a safe place for all to use.

I’m excited for my son Cai to join the team. I’m proud of him for smashing his fitness tests and I’m looking forward to working alongside him. Hopefully we’ll get a shift together on Father’s Day! It’ll be nice to spend time together before he grows up completely.

I hope other people of my age see that lifeguarding isn’t just for youngsters. If you’re still fit and healthy give it a go, you won’t regret it.'

Cai who will be starting with the RNLI in the next week said:

‘I’m really looking forward to my first shift at the beach. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years as I’ve always been a keen swimmer and surfer.

I’ve enjoyed training and competing with Porthmawr Surf Life Saving Club as a junior and now senior. This has given me the skills and familiarised me with the lifesaving environment.

I’ve just finished my first year of sixth form. Outside of school I spend my time chasing the surf and going to the gym. I’m looking forward to getting experience on the beaches and getting my uniform!

It’s going to be fun working with Dad. I’m hoping he won’t embarrass me too much! I can’t wait to see him continue to try to beat me in our fitness tests. Happy Father’s Day!’

Notes to Editors

Thomas and Cai Owen can be available for interview. Please contact Anya Walton via contact details below to discuss.

RNLI Media Contacts

For more information contact Anya Walton RNLI Media Engagement Placement (Wales and West) on 07890066217 or [email protected] . Or Claire Elshaw Regional Media Officer, on 07468353082 or [email protected] . Alternatively, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202336789 or [email protected].

RNLI/Anya Walton

RNLI/Anya Walton

RNLI/Anya Walton

RNLI/Anya Walton

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.