The first Surf Life Saving Club was formed in Bude by Australian Allan Kennedy back in 1953 to train local lifeguards to patrol the beach and keep people safe in the water. In the following two years Clubs formed in Brighton and St Agnes and in 1955 the Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain came into being.  Today, Surf Life Saving GB (SLSGB) is a National Charity made up of 7,000 volunteers with 70 clubs throughout the UK.  Its goal is to make communities and beaches safer by saving lives and helping to prevent drowning.  Surf Life Saving GB achieves this goal through its sporting activities and its community service.

Surf Life Saving – The Sport:

The Clubs form the heart of Surf Life Saving as a sport.  The sport is about developing those skills that would enable a future lifeguard to save a life. Like any other sport there is regular training throughout the year and members are encouraged to compete in the various pool and beach competitions.  Surf Life Saving gives its members a skill for life whether they go on to become lifeguards or not – how to be safe in the water.

SLSGB is a full member of International Life Saving and a National Governing Body for Life Saving.

SLSGB – The Community Service:

As a community service SLSGB provides many roles.  One of these is Lifeguard Training and SLSGB issues over 4,000 training awards each year. Today it has 1,198 trained Lifeguards who recognise and deal with life threatening situations on a daily basis.   The organisation also runs Water Safety Management Courses to aid sporting activities and industry alike.

The community role is constantly developing to meet the ever-changing demands for water safety and today has grown to include Flood Rescue. SLSGB has recently developed fully qualified, self declared and accredited Search and Rescue teams, trained by the SAR Flood College.

These volunteer teams are now front line Flood Rescue Responders and are deployed nationwide to provide flood rescue whenever it is needed.

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