Could you save lives as a voluntary lifeguard?
PORTSMOUTH and Southsea Voluntary Lifeguards (PSVL) urgently needs more people to help save lives in the Solent.
Founded in 1933, the beach lifeguard club is the oldest in the UK.
It is calling for volunteers to sign up to ensure swimmers and beachgoers are safe on the beach and in the sea.
Chairman Anne White, who has been with the organisation for 45 years, said: ‘You can save lives and have fun making friends in a caring environment.
‘We welcome anyone over the age of 13 to join the team.’
A variety of different roles need to be filled.
It is not only boat crew and beach lifeguards, but also on-shore crew to help drive the vehicles, and fundraisers to help with events and collections that take place throughout the year.
Anne says they are a fundamental part of the life-saving operation the beach lifeguard unit provides.
Membership secretary Maisie Rafferty said: ‘It’s a great opportunity for people to learn how to stay safe and save lives.
‘People can volunteer as much or as little time as they like.’
To become a member of the boat crew or a beach lifeguard, you will need to be able to complete a 200-metre swim in less than five minutes as a minimum.
After that, they are able to put you through your beach lifeguard qualification, which will see you receiving a nationally -recognised beach lifeguard qualification.
In addition to the patrols undertaken, the club is a rescue unit for HM Coastguard which sees both lifeguard members and rescue boats being sent to 999 incidents on Southsea beach and in the Solent.
The club also provides rescue and first aid cover for special events.
In September lifeguard Jack Allman successfully carried out a charity paddle across the Solent on a lifeguard rescue board.
He went from Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, to the lifeguard station on Southsea Seafront.
To apply, call (023) 9282 0985 or go to portsmouthlifeguards.org.