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The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is the Drowning Prevention Charity and the UK’s leading provider of water safety and drowning prevention education.

Members and guests of Horsham Life Saving Club gathered at The Normandy Centre in Horsham last Thursday for their Annual Presentation Evening, where cups and certificates were presented to all those who had achieved so much during 2016.

The Guests of Honour handing out the awards were Councillor Christian Mitchell, Chair of Horsham District Council and Dawn Whittaker, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK). They were assisted by Tim Bolton from The Pavilions in the Park Leisure Centre and Helen Bowker, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the South.
Both Guests of Honour congratulated the club on the terrific success that they had achieved in both providing instruction about water safety at the pool and in getting the message across to people in the community about the dangers of being in and around water.
During the year 166 examinations have been passed successfully:  these were mainly Survive and Save syllabus life support and lifesaving exams at gold, silver and bronze levels taken at. Open water activity was performed at Southwater Lake and Beach activity at Lancing and Littlehampton. Some members also qualified for the First Aid at Work Certificate, as AED (Automated External Defibrillator) Operators and in conjunction with The Pavilions NPLQ (National Pool Lifeguard Qualification).
Outreach activities in the local community included delivering CPR training sessions at the Pavilions in the Park Leisure Centre during Drowning Prevention Week, seven free ‘Save a Baby’s Life training sessions for those with young children and presentations at Infants, Junior and Secondary Schools.
Members competed and achieved success at lifesaving competitions in Sussex, the South East Region, National Finals in Sheffield and at a International Competition in Holland.
The annual internal competition had fewer entries than in the past but there was still fierce competition for the cups.

The results were –

  • Set Piece Event 1st place:  Teachers: David Slade. Ladies: Erin Tarling Men: Zach Gaudiano
  • Incident Event 1st place: Teachers: Jenny Fletcher. Ladies Sophie Lee.
  • Speed Event 1st place: Ladies: Sophie Lee. Men Sean Ottley
  • Overall Aggregate Champion: Jenny Fletcher

2016 was the 125th Anniversary of the foundation of the RLSS, and various commemorative events took place around the Commonwealth and the UK. The club set members and supporters a challenge to swim 125 lengths of the pool between September and December and produced a special badge and certificate to mark the achievement of the 27 who succeeded.
John Stainer received one of HRH Prince Michael of Kent’s Commonwealth Recognition Certificates and was introduced to HM The Queen in a reception at Buckingham Palace. Robin Akers and David Slade each received a William Henry 125 Certificate for reaching 125 points in the William Henry Reward Programme.
The Endeavour Cup was awarded to Josie Simmons who had worked extremely hard to improve her swimming in order to pass her Bronze Core and Silver Corps timed swims and then go on to pass her Bronze and Silver Medallion pool exams. Josie also achieved her Bronze & Silver Stillwater and Beach exams.

The Club Member of the Year, voted for by members, saw the trophy awarded to Edward Baker, the 4th member of the family to belong to the club.
Chairman David Slade says “A new Survive & Save class will begin at the end of January and application forms can be found on the club website

“Around 400 people a year drown in the UK and Ireland, can you afford not to know how to prevent it happening to you, your family or friends. Sadly, events such as that at Camber Sands do happen but they can be prevented.”


The post Horsham Lifesavers Celebrate a Successful Anniversary Year appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: February 10, 2017, 4:00 pm

Members of Oadby and Wigston Lifesaving Club will be re-launching their club on Sunday, 29 January at Wigston Leisure Centre in Wigston Manor, Leicestershire.

The club has been teaching lifesaving skills for over 48 years, and is looking for new members to sign up and get involved.

The open day will be a fantastic opportunity for anyone with an interest in lifesaving to find out more about the club whilst sampling some of the activities they have to offer. Starting at 3pm, RLSS UK officials will also be in attendance along with an appearance from the local Mayor.

To find out more about the event visit Oadby and Wigston Lifesaving Club’s Facebook page here.

The post Oadby and Wigston Lifesaving Club host Open Day appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: January 5, 2017, 4:24 pm

Resident water safety expert and RLSS UK Programmes Manager, Dr Cliff Nelson, explains how you are more at risk of flooding than ever before.

In recent years it seems like it has become a regular occurrence that the staff at RLSS UK HQ, River House, watch the River Avon bursting its banks and flooding the neighbouring fields. This often brings home to us how heavy rain quickly turns this small river into a dangerous, powerful and fast flowing killing machine.  

As we watch the river level rise, and hope that it doesn’t pass the flood defences, it’s a shocking reminder that not everyone has the protection our office has, with 5.2 million properties in England alone, now at risk of flooding.

The majority of people will remember the huge surge of water hitting Boscastle in 2004, destroying buildings and sending cars careering into the harbour. Some 7.9ins (200mm) of rain had fallen in 24 hours, leading to rivers bursting their banks. Fifty-eight properties were flooded, with four destroyed, a total of 150 were swept away, luckily no lives were lost. And, what were, shocking images coming from our TV now seem to have become far more common and affect far more people each year. 

These images show us vital it is to not underestimate the power of floodwater. Whether there are swollen rivers or general floodwater on roads and pathways, it is vital people follow simple, common sense, steps during periods of flooding to help ensure they, and their families, stay safe. 

We ask our members to take heed of the below advice but please share it with people in your area if they are affected by flooding. 

  • Never try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock an adult over and two feet of water will float a car
  • Never try to swim through fast flowing water or floodwater – you may get swept away or be stuck or caught on an object in the water
  • Never allow children or pets to go near or play in floodwater. It is hazardous and may be contaminated with chemicals
  • Keep an eye on weather reports for flooding in your area. Do not travel in heavy rainstorms unless absolutely necessary
  • Prepare a flood kit in case your home floods or you are trapped in a vehicle for any period – this can contain a change of clothing, wellies, waterproof and blankets as well as a torch, charged mobile phone, radio, medication and first aid kit and a list of useful numbers, including flood alert lines


For more information on how to stay safe around flood water or to join a flood rescue team visit


*Environment Agency, Defra, Parliament UK


The post Did you know you are more likely to get flooded than burgled? appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: December 14, 2016, 10:35 am

The post Open Water Day! appeared first on RLSS UK.

open-water-day-blogLiverpool and District Branch held its Open Water Day on 3 September at Boundray Park Lake, near Holmes Chapel.

 Ten-year-old Caitlin Dennel from Crewe Neptune Lifesaving Club tells us all about her day.

 Saturday 3 September

 I was woken up really early, before 7am, to get ready to go to the lake. I was very tired, and a bit of me wanted to stay in bed.

 After breakfast we set off for the lake and arrived before 8am. My first job was to help Granny set up for the whole event. It was our lifesaving club’s annual open water awards and junior competition day. We had to set up a massive tent and sort out lots of equipment like ropes, bottles and poles. The tent was really hard work.

 Granny then went off to test the adults and I went to take part in the Junior Competition. For the competition we had to answer questions, deal with an unconscious casualty and rescue someone from the lake. It was raining hard and I felt really cold, particularly after the rescue. I was glad that I managed to rescue them by throwing a bottle for them to hold and a rope to pull them in so I didn’t have to go above my knees.

 I was really pleased to find out I had come second, a year 8 girl won, and I was given a silver medal.

 It was great to have a hot shower when I got home!

 By Caitlin Dennel, Crewe Neptune Lifesaving Club, aged 10.


The post Open Water Day! appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: November 3, 2016, 2:54 pm

dofe-prince-edwardOn Thursday 22 September 2016 His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex, KG, visited the Channel Island of Alderney.

This was part of a tour to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award scheme. The Year 8 and 9 students of St Anne’s School demonstrated their lifesaving skills, which they have been working on for their Survive and Save Beach Awards. The students use elements of their Lifesaving to help them to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Awards through the physical and skills elements.

HRH watched from above as the helicopter hovered directly above the students in a truly exhilarating display. He then walked down to Braye Beach escorted by the school Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator Mr Martyn Brown, where he was able to watch as a range of land based rescues and tows were being performed. With two blasts of the whistle the students ran out of the water and arranged themselves between the flags as they would in event of an emergency. HRH was introduced to Mrs Angela Etheredge swimming co-ordinator and RLSS UK Trainer Assessor who was able to explain more about what the students were doing. The other staff who are also trained on the tiny 3 miles long island, were also introduced. Then HRH spoke to some of the students who are currently working towards their Bronze levels in both DofE and Survive and Save Beach. HRH explained about his experience of Bronze Medallion Heritage, in his PJs. HRH was asked if this was the first time he had watched a sea swimming lesson, and he responded yes it was. This delighted both the staff and the students, who without a pool on the island, learn to swim in the sea (from 6 years old) and progress on to achieve high levels in Lifesaving.

Next the Royal visitor was introduced to a group of four young people aged 14-16 who are working towards their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award  and their Silver Survive and Save Beach Award. They spoke about their experiences of both awards and how perfectly the two awards are working together in our school. They escorted HRH back a short five minute walk to the school and introduced their peers, 4-16 years, as the whole school group waited to greet him. He met a previous student who as well as Lifesaving had achieved Bronze, Silver and Gold Level Dof E and then gone on to train and assess D of E groups. After a planting a tree in the new school garden and being presented with locally made butter he returned to the Braye Common by the beach where he was greeted by the Lifesavers in a Guard of Honour, wearing their RLSS UK swimming hats. Everyone waved goodbye and celebrated a successful day of joyous, purposeful outdoor learning with all participants working co-operatively to support and inspire each other, a perfect Duke of Edinburgh and RLSS UK combination.

Angela Etheredge

The post Lifesaving Display for Prince Edward on Duke of Edinburgh Tour appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: October 25, 2016, 12:29 pm

pxb-blogBefore doing my Pool Extraction Board (PXB) update I was initially unsure of this new equipment as it is designed to be used with only 2 people. This is a big change to our traditional methods. One of my main concerns was how secure it would be especially as it is a higher cost than the spine board. However I looked into arranging internal training for myself and my staff and arranged a training session at one of my regular training sites. I asked all my internal staff to come along as well as the assessors we use on a regular basis to make sure they were all trained and attaining the same standard with this new equipment. Prior to this I watched and completed all the online resources and I was very impressed with the amount of detail that went into. For example the resources covered areas such as a PXB competency forms and specific guidance. The practical course itself was extremely informative and fantastically well run. In short my opinion on the PXB board has now completely changed. I now consider this one of the best pieces of kit I have ever used. It is practical as it can be used by less staff which is of huge benefit to centres where resources are stretched and is a huge safety improvement. Since doing the course and running a PXB session in staff training I have heard nothing but good feedback.

To anyone who is looking at upgrading their existing equipment to improve the safety of their centre. I would highly recommend looking at the PXB.

Buy your Pool Extraction Board here!

The post RLSS UK Trainer Assessor talks about the revolutionary new Pool Extraction Board (PXB) appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: October 17, 2016, 10:02 am

The post Fundraising round-up appeared first on RLSS UK.

Fundraising tins 2Give as You Live

With the countdown to Christmas already underway, now is a great time to sign up to Give as You Live – an online service which generates donations to your favourite charity when you shop online – and it won’t cost you anything extra!

There are more than 4,000 major retailers involved in the scheme, including supermarkets and a range of large and small online shops. Donations are given to charities when purchases are made on their websites via Give as You Live.

It’s quick and easy to sign up, just click here. Spread the word to family and friends and you could earn an extra £5 donation to RLSS UK for every person who signs up!


Even better, if you work for a company who make business purchases online, they can also get involved by signing up to Give as You Live’s corporate scheme here.


 If you have any questions, or would like to find out more then please contact Nicky Sargent.


Every Penny Counts

GivePenny is a fantastic service for fundraisers, which allows anyone to raise funds as they go about their daily lives.

Working in conjunction with FitBit fitness devices, as well as many other fitness tracking apps, GivePenny allows you to set fundraising goals based on the activities you already do, such as the number of steps you take each day, how many times you go to the gym, or how many lengths you swim in your local pool.

Setting up a fundraising page is simple and easy to share – your supporters can then make pledges based on your goals.

Take a look at the website here or contact Nicky Sargent for further information.


Coming to a store near you?

We have lots of volunteering opportunities becoming available to support RLSS UK, thanks to securing a large number of charity collections at Tesco stores across the country.

This will be a fantastic opportunity for the charity, not just to raise funds, but to continue raising awareness of our drowning prevention work.

We are hoping that there will be many more similar opportunities to follow. If you would like to know how you might engage with local businesses, or if you might like to become a volunteer collector for the charity, please contact Nicky Sargent for further information.


Give a tin a home

If public collections are not your thing, how about ‘adopting’ one of our collecting tins, and finding it a good home in your favourite local shop, restaurant, pub or leisure centre?

We will provide everything you need to start fundraising in this way, including information about the rules and regulations you will need to be aware of.

If this is of interest, please get in touch with Nicky Sargent.


Other Fundraising News…

Congratulations to Luke Ford, who successfully completed his Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle this summer. Gaining matched funding from his employer, Luke has raised an incredible £3,000 for the Society – an amazing achievement all round.

Further kudos to Ross Templeman and his colleagues at Van Mildert Boat Club, who completed a 1,000,000- mile ergo rowing challenge – quite an undertaking! The team successfully completed the task, raising £890 for RLSS UK in the process. Well done, all!

Swimming in memory of her beloved son, Alex, who tragically lost his life in a drowning incident in 2014, Sue Mitchell rallied her friends and family to take part in the Great North Swim in June, where they all did Alex proud. Altogether, the team raised almost £10,000 in support of drowning prevention – thank you and very well done to each and every one of you.

The team from Speedo emulated the Channel challenge, by swimming the equivalent distance during Drowning Prevention Week. The team put in a fantastic effort both in and out of the pool, securing donations totalling £837 – thank you everyone!

Congratulations to Mark Scaife, who successfully completed the tough Thames Path Challenge on 10th & 11th September in memory of his son, Michael, who tragically drowned last year. The trek covered a distance of 100K between Putney Bridge and Henley on Thames, which Mark completed in 21 hours and 42mins.

So far, Mark and his supporters have raised an amazing £2,655 to help fund drowning prevention activity.

Further congratulations to everyone who participated in two very different open water swims in September. First up was the Brownsea Island Swim, where swimmers gathered in Poole to take up the now iconic challenge of swimming around this Dorset landmark.

Early indications show that almost £3,000 was raised from the event – many thanks to all who took part.

Next up, on Friday 9th September, was the Pier to Pier Swim in Brighton, which unfortunately suffered a last–minute venue change due to hazardous tidal conditions.

Around 60 swimmers rerouted to the Weir Wood Reservoir, choosing to tackle a distance of 600, 1,000 or 2,000 metres of open water swimming. The event was run in conjunction with Southern Water and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance service, and was designed to give swimmers the opportunity to try open water swimming whilst supported by RLSS UK trained lifeguards.

Feedback has been very positive, and we hope to run future events – so watch this space!

The post Fundraising round-up appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: October 11, 2016, 10:58 am

first-aid-blogAs well as being an National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) trainer I recently became an RLSS UK First aid trainer and assessor. I chose to do this after being asked by a few of my centres to run First Aid at Work (FAW) along with other courses. Not only has this opened up a lot of new doors for my business but also given me a lot of new experiences and a greater in-depth knowledge of the whole subject. With the new “Millie’s law”, which came into place recently, now is an ideal time to become a FAW tutor with the RLSS UK and offer extra courses to your companies. You can run it alongside the NPLQ, National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC), and give staff an additional qualification alongside the standard course.  As we know the first few minutes can be crucial in an accident or incident and improving the number of staff able to administer essential first aid using this qualification is a positive move forward for any workplace environment. It is an interesting course and although there is an overlap with the NPLQ I feel the extra knowledge gained is a big benefit and would give staff more confidence to deal with what can be scary and difficult situations.


James Rankin

The post Have you considered doing RLSS UK First Aid? appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: October 6, 2016, 9:06 am

The post Lifesaving World Championships 2016! appeared first on RLSS UK.

world-lifesaving-champs-blog-imageThe Lifesaving World Championships were held in the Netherlands this year.

Approximately 4,000 athletes and officials from 40 nations together with 400 local volunteers took part in the Championships which was held in the purpose built 50m pool in Eindhoven and on the North Sea beaches of Noordwijk.

With sixteen days of competition split across the pool and the beach, the Lifesaving World Championships is the largest international lifesaving sport competition in the world. All the events are based around rescue capability and are specific to saving people’s lives.

Team GBR (Open and Youth) was made up of 12 athletes and they all fought hard to place 9th and 7th respectively (Open with 295 points, Youth with 410 points).

An additional 190 athletes from 20 RLSS UK Clubs competed over the masters and interclub championships.  The high octane opening ceremony was just the start of an exciting fortnight of world class competition.  World records, national records, PBs, laughter, tears and injury, were all part of the extreme highs and lows of the championships.  The pool competition was fantastic, the organisation was smooth, the results system was quick and the pool was fast.  The food village seemed hugely popular and opportunity to do a bit of sunbathing went down well.  The masters and youth interclub definitely had the worst of the weather at the beach, but fought bravely.

Over the course of the championships 27 medals, 13 National Records and 2 World Records were brought home by RLSS UK athletes.

Generally felt to be a great championship, respect must be given to the organisers, the orange army and all the officials.

The RESCUE championships will move to Adelaide in Australia for RESCUE 2018 before returning to Europe by way of Italy in 2020.

Summary for Team GBR Open 

Summary for Team GBR Youth 

Link to highlights video –

For all the detailed results please visit –

200m Obstacle Race (New Record for Masters)

Jessica Hancock 12-14yrs – 02:29.37

Caroline Guy 30-39yrs – 03:13.20

Donna Wickens 40-49yrs – 02:50.00

Wendy Pritchard 50yrs + – 02:51.27

Gavin Little 30-39yrs – 02:57.72

Mike Davis 40-49yrs – 02:29.00

Medley Relay

Crawley Town (Olhran Mallon, Sam Murray, Martin Schofield, Joseph Woollard) 15-17yrs – 01:42.27

Blyth (Caroline GUY, Michele WEEDY, Alison WILSON, Zelah WEEDY) 140-169yrs – 02:23.81

Beacon (Paula Willison, Jane Hand, Kim Fenner & Wendy Pritchard) 170-199yrs – 02:24.63

Mumbles (Jon GWYNN, Mike DAVIES, Alun MORGAN, Stuart YEANDLE) 200yrs + – 02:23.92

Obstacle Reay

Crawley Town (Olhran Mallon, Sam Murray, Martin Schofield, Joseph Woollard) 15-17yrs – 01:52.15

Manikin Relay                 

GBR (Mesha WARDMAN, Lily NICHOLS, Devon AMOS, Zara WILLIAMS) – 01:30.38

Line Throw (12.5m)

JARC (Adrian Attwell, Stuart McGlinchely) 40-49yrs – 00:12.24

Please remember that the ultimate responsibility for claiming a national record lies with the lifesaver(s) concerned. If you set a record and it is not awarded please complete RLSS UK Record Application Form [Word Document] and return to Elouise Greenwood ( soon as possible.

The post Lifesaving World Championships 2016! appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: September 30, 2016, 10:09 am

  Michael Scaife tragically drowned in the Jubilee River in Datchet, Berkshire, in August last year when trying to rescue one of his friends who had jumped in. He was just 20-years-old. Since his son’s death, Michael’s father, Mark, successfully campaigned to have a footbridge across the Jubilee River named after his son as a […]

The post A father’s trekking tribute appeared first on RLSS UK.



Michael Scaife tragically drowned in the Jubilee River in Datchet, Berkshire, in August last year when trying to rescue one of his friends who had jumped in. He was just 20-years-old.

Since his son’s death, Michael’s father, Mark, successfully campaigned to have a footbridge across the Jubilee River named after his son as a tribute and a reminder to others of the dangers the river could pose. A petition in support of the plan has attracted more than 1,500 signatures in less than a week and RLSS UK supported Mark in his campaign.

And Mark has now just successfully completed the Thames Path Challenge, raising over £2,500 for RLSS UK so far. The event, which took place on September 10 and 11, saw challengers take on and amazing 100km trek from Putney Bridge to Henley.

RLSS UK would like to thank Mark for raising such an astounding amount to for the charity and his commitment to drowning prevention in light of experiencing such a devastating loss. He is a real RLSS UK champion.

Here’s Mark’s account of his challenge:

“I successfully finished the challenge in 21hrs 42mins 59secs at 5.42am on the Sunday morning after starting in London at 8am on the Saturday. It was an incredibly tough journey. Much harder than I imagined. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with a slipped disc five days before the event, so that wasn’t great news to be going into the challenge with, but at least explained my 10 months of back pain! I had calf strain after 32km, huge blisters at 38km, at which point I honestly thought I was in trouble.

“The blister pain had thankfully eased by time I reached the 50k halfway point and I decided to leave them be. Shin splints pain kicked in at around 72km! Most of the first 50km was wet, the second 50km dark and with very thick fog, but I carried on. Three-and-half days on, I’m still unable to walk due to soft tissue/ligament damage in my left foot, and I am currently at home with my foot elevated. It’s not called a challenge for no reason I guess, the words on the medal are so true!

“The sponsorship total is currently at £2,505, with a little more still to come in. That in itself makes all the above absolutely worth it.”


The post A father’s trekking tribute appeared first on RLSS UK.

Author: Emma Finch
Posted: September 16, 2016, 12:11 pm
Royal Life Saving Society Uganda © 2015


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