Portsmouth RNLI volunteer goes viral with TikTok videos about life as a rescuer

AN RNLI volunteer has gone viral after giving TikTok a glimpse into life as a lifeboat rescuer.

By David George
Monday, 31st May 2021, 5:16 pm

Josh Owens has been a crew member at Portsmouth RNLI for three years and has taken part in a number of rescues, helping bring loved ones back to family and friends.

The 28-year-old has also been making his own TikTok videos – short clips uploaded to a mobile app for the world to see.

His videos, which give people an insight into life in the RNLI, including equipment, rescue operations and more, have racked up around 200,000 views in total.

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Portsmouth RNLI volunteer, Josh Owens. Picture: David Riley

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Josh, who goes by @owens377 on TikTok, said: ‘Like many, I found myself with time on my hands during lockdown and started watching a few videos on TikTok.

‘They were really quite engaging and fun so I thought I’d try my hand at sharing a few stories and clips about my time as an RNLI volunteer.

‘Since starting my own TikTok channel in November I’ve been overwhelmed at how well it’s been received, and I have almost 15,000 followers.

‘I’ve really enjoyed engaging with supporters and I’ve even been asked about how people can get involved with volunteering themselves.’

Josh highlight’s vital safety messaging, RNLI facts, how to get involved and what it is like to be at the sharp end of saving lives at sea.

In a recent live stream on TikTok, viewers watched him drop everything for a rescue operation after his pager went off.

Josh is one of thousands of dedicated RNLI volunteers, with 5,500 lifeboat crew members across the country.

He said: ‘Since joining as a volunteer, I’ve witnessed first-hand the impact you can make on people’s lives and I’m volunteering among some incredible people to really make a difference.

‘My advice is to pop down to your local lifeboat station to find out more or take a look at the RNLI website – I’ve certainly never looked back.’

Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,700 lives.

On Thursday, June 3, Josh will be doing a live interview on the RNLI’s Instagram account at 7.30pm.

To volunteer with the RNLI, people can go to rnli.org/support-us/volunteer.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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