Be a lifeguard volunteer

Use your skills as a qualified lifeguard or support our lifeguards on the beach.
Group shot of RNLI lifeguards on a beach in Norfolk with Happisburgh RNLI’s B class Atlantic 75 and D class inshore lifeboats in the background

Photo: Simon Buck

RNLI lifeguards on a beach in Norfolk with Happisburgh lifeboats in the background

Due to the global pandemic, we are running fewer lifeguard patrols than usual this summer. For information on how to stay safe at the beach, visit our beach safety page.

Most RNLI lifeguards are paid by the relevant local authority to maintain seasonal patrols on our busiest beaches but we also have volunteer lifeguards.

Some are newly qualified lifeguards gaining experience, while others just enjoy helping out in their spare time.

Types of lifeguard volunteering opportunities

There are three operational lifeguarding roles that a volunteer can undertake. 

Volunteer lifeguard

Be part of the daily lifeguard operational team on the beach. If you hold a lifeguarding qualification and can meet the RNLI fitness standards, then this could be the role for you.

Volunteer lifeguard support

Help the lifeguards with land-based duties, such as lookout, radio communications and casualty care. A lifeguarding qualification is required.

Volunteer lifeguard assistant

Provide support for our lifeguarding service and give beach safety advice on the beach and at public events. 

If you have any questions about volunteering for the RNLI, visit our FAQs page.


  • RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Jo Thompson

    Be inspired

    Meet our lifeguards
  • RNLI Lifeguard Richard Evans reaching out to rescue someone on his rescue board

    Discover what our lifeguards do, how they train, and find your nearest lifeguarded beach.

    Lifeguards and beaches
  • Skegness lifeboat volunteers training in rough seas in their D class inshore lifeboat, Peterborough Beer Festival lV D-739
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    How your support helps