Could you be one of the next generation of lifesavers?

Head of Lifeboats, Simon Ling, launches an internal recruitment campaign for a new cohort of full-time lifeboat crew. Read on below to find out more about this exciting opportunity...

RNLI lifeboat crew stood on the beach in a formation line with sun shining behind them.

Photo: RNLI

'I’m really excited to be sharing with you something we’ve been working on since I took up the role of Head of Lifeboats at the beginning of last year.

'Today, we’re launching a recruitment campaign for a new cohort of full-time lifeboat crew to work alongside our existing full-time crew as leaders within our RNLI communities. To go with this, we’ve created a brand new, dynamic and bespoke programme of training and development for those recruits.

'We’re looking for people who are forward thinking, energetic, inclusive and willing and able to command and maintain our lifeboats with passion, selflessness and courage in the years to come.'

Simon Ling
Head of Lifeboats RNLI

A sustainable lifesaving service

Why are we doing this? Over the last 9 months we’ve been working with full-time crew to find a way for them to have a better work-life balance. We recognise that the need for them to be available to respond to the pager 24/7 impacts their personal and family life. To allow them to take the rest breaks they need, away from the RNLI and off-pager, we need the crew in place – in particular coxswains and mechanics – who are fully trained and have the experience needed to take the lifeboats to sea when they are called on to do so.

And while volunteers will always remain at the heart of our lifesaving operations, we have recognised that we need to increase the number of full-time lifeboat crew at the RNLI. Doing so will allow us to be able to respond much quicker to the changes we are seeing around our coastlines and help us to continue to support the people and communities who rely on our lifesaving services.

Who are we looking for?

We’re not just looking for people who are already passed out as coxswains or mechanics. For this particular role, coxswain-afloat mechanic, we are looking for people who have RNLI maritime experience – in particular as all-weather lifeboat (ALB) coxswain, ALB mechanic, ALB navigator or inshore lifeboat (ILB) helm.

And to support this recruitment, we have developed a brand new, bespoke training programme specifically for the lifeboat crew we recruit.

Not only will they receive dedicated training and mentoring from the Lifesaving Training Team at the RNLI College in Poole and at stations on the coast, they’ll also receive specialist training in leadership, human factors and decision making.

At present we’re focusing on RNLI volunteers and staff who are ready to develop their skills primarily as a coxswain and then, over time, as a mechanic. However we’re also developing a new programme for people to be recruited and trained initially as station mechanics and then as coxswains, which will be ready to launch in the coming months.

Training and development for our new cohort

Those joining us and already competent in the role of ALB coxswain will attend a short course, focusing on leadership, decision making and developing additional command and maritime skills.

Those not yet passed out in the role of ALB coxswain will be enrolled onto an intensive development programme for coxswains, which begins at the RNLI College and then moves to the coast where they’ll be mentored to continue building and reinforcing their skills, gaining valuable station and afloat experience.

Where required, the RNLI will also support recruits to achieve the required minimum sea-time for the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster certification and a commercial endorsement.

Once through the programme, all our new recruits will initially be managed by the central Fleet Operations Team to continue their development through additional training, further experience and to provide cover for our all-weather lifeboats as and when it’s needed.

Find out more and apply

To apply for the role click here to go to the RNLI job listing.

If you want to find out more – speak to your Area Lifesaving Manager or email [email protected].