Drowning in coastal communities in Kenya was an increasing problem when we began working with volunteer lifeguards in 2008. Training was non-existent. Equipment was ingeniously improvised, but basic: old windsurf boards became rescue boards and palm trees were used as flagpoles.

The difference we’ve made

Two lifeguard trainers visited Kenya in 2008 to help equip 16 local people with essential lifesaving skills as part of the Crisis Response Development Foundation’s maritime community project.

They spent 2 weeks at a public beach in Mombasa, where they taught a group of Kenyan people to become lifesavers.

The lifeguard trainers returned in 2009 to deliver Train the Trainer sessions, enabling the Kenyan lifeguards to share their skills with others and help secure the long-term future of lifeguarding in the country.

Since delivering RNLI training at Jomo Kenyatta beach in Mombasa, the number of drownings reduced from an average of three a month.

Now with delegates from Kenya attending our Future Leaders in Lifesaving courses, we’re helping to develop maritime safety awareness, infrastructure and capacity, and response to maritime incidents within the coastal communities of Kenya.