Imagine for a moment that you’re part of the crew on a lifeboat. It’s 2.30am on a freezing January morning and the pager’s just woken you from a deep sleep in a snug warm bed. You then head out to sea in complete darkness and 10m waves rise and fall around you, ready to swamp you at any moment. Strong gale force winds throw the lifeboat around like a toy. A fishing trawler is in difficulties 23 miles out to sea.

Still want to volunteer? Read on…

Our crew members need to:

  • be over 17 (with the permission of your parents) or over 18 years old

  • be under 45 years old (inshore lifeboat) or 55 (all-weather lifeboat) 

  • pass a medical and eyesight test

  • be physically fit

  • live and/or work close to a lifeboat station 

  • pass a probationary period that usually lasts for one year

  • be a team player and be accepted by the rest of the crew

  • enjoy hard physical work

  • get on well with other people

  • communicate easily

  • obey orders when required to.

Being part of a lifeboat crew is a major commitment, which could include risking your life. Your commitment isn't only measured in the time spent involved in rescues. Increasingly, new equipment and faster boats mean that regular training programmes also account for much of your spare time. You may also be asked to help show visitors around the station and with local fundraising.

What’s in it for you?

The RNLI provides first class training and equipment, guidance and support. Volunteering with us offers you the opportunity to make a difference in your local community, to save lives and be part of the larger RNLI family. We can offer you one of the most exciting and fulfilling volunteer roles available.

Still interested?

If the thrill of a shout and being part of a close-knit team appeal to you, and you have the spare time required to make a commitment, then contact your local lifeboat station. Each individual lifeboat station deals with its own recruitment. Contact the station directly by phone or by going down to the station. Find your nearest lifeboat station, contact the Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager to find out more about the station and available places on the crew.

If you have any further queries then contact us.