RNLI on lookout for new beach lifesavers in Swanage

Recruitment has begun for the RNLI lifeguard team in preparation for keeping beachgoers safe on Swanage Beach over summer 2023.

The charity’s lifeguards not only rescue those in difficulty in the water, they also provide vital first aid and safety advice to ensure visitors can return home safely.

Beach mat on Swanage Beach

Swanage Beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer on the stretch between the red and yellow flags

World class lifesaving training

Over summer 2022, lifeguards along the East Dorset coast from Swanage to Christchurch helped swimmers stricken by powerful rip currents, saved children being blown offshore on inflatables, came to the rescue of paddle boarders and gave critical first aid on beaches among the various incidents they attended.

Successful applicants will receive world class lifesaving training, enjoy good rates of pay, the possibility of flexible working patterns and develop valuable skills for their future career.

RNLI lifeguard hut on Swanage Beach

The lifeguard hut on Swanage Beach

“Build confidence and leadership”

Kester Sheppard, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for East Dorset, said:

“Working as a beach lifeguard is a rewarding job that helps you develop many transferable skills for any career path. In addition, it helps you build confidence and leadership and improves your ability to work as part of a team, which often brings life-long friendships.

“There is so much opportunity for progression in the role, and you make a huge difference in your community by preventing potentially life-threatening situations. We are looking for people willing to learn and put their training into action to make the right decision if someone’s life is in danger.

“Our recruitment and selection process starts now and runs through to Easter. Our inductions include basic lifesaving skills, such as rescue board and tube training, and each lifeguard will undergo a three-day casualty care course, which prepares them when dealing with first aid interventions for the season ahead.

“You don’t need to hold a valid qualification when applying for the role. We can help you gain the qualifications you need to become a lifeguard and point you in the right direction with how and where to obtain them.”

Parasols and windbraks on Swanage Beach

The beach can get busy during warm weather

Fitness requirements for RNLI lifeguards

  • Complete a 400 metre pool swim in under 7.5 minutes, the first 200 metres of which must be completed in under 3.5 minutes
  • Complete a 25 metre pool swim underwater and a 25 metre surface swim consecutively in under 50 seconds
  • Complete a 200 metre beach run in under 40 seconds

Swanage Beach is lifeguarded from the start of the school holiday summer half term. It’s expected that like in 2022, the team will patrol the beach and sea from 10 am to 6 pm until September.

Lifeguard paddle board on Swanage Beach

A lifeguards on Swanage Beach

The beach is your office

Ed Stevens, RNLI Regional Lifeguard Lead, said:

“Beach lifeguarding is a great opportunity and a very rewarding role that changes lives – including your own – all whilst enjoying the beach as your office.

“Our lifeguards range from teenagers all the way up to lifesavers in their 70s, as long as you meet the fitness requirements and you are over 16 years old, there could be a role for you.

“The job also has great paths for progression – we have lifeguards who have been working for the RNLI for years, both on the beach and as part of our support teams, and the skills you gain can make an ideal first step towards many careers.

“It’s a great opportunity whether you want a rewarding summer job or to pursue a career in lifesaving.”

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