Cowes Lifeboat Station

Volunteering

Our volunteer crews give up their time and comfort to carry out rescues in difficult and often dangerous conditions.

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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 yacht is sinking off the Bramble Bank.

And you still want to volunteer for this?

To become a lifeboat crew member, you need to:

  • be over 17 (with the permission of your parents) or over 18 years old
  • be under 50 years old (inshore 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

Crew members also need good personal skills. This means you need to:

  • get on well with other people
  • communicate easily – that means talking and listening!
  • obey orders when required to

Being part of a lifeboat crew is a major commitment, which could ultimately 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. For you it’s an opportunity to achieve and to save lives and a chance to be part of our world class rescue service. We can offer you one of the most exciting and fulfilling voluntary jobs available.

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Still interested?
If the thrill of a shout and the teamwork appeal to you, and you think that you have what it takes to be that special kind of person, then email cowes@rnli.org.uk

Current Vacancies

We are CURRENTLY RECRUITING for Shore Crew, with the possibility of progressing to Lifeboat Crew, if you are interested please email us at cowes@rnli.org.uk and we’ll invite you down to one of our training evenings – we also have a recruitment day on the 4th November from 1100-1400, this will cover all roles from Lifeboat Crew to shop volunteers!

We are also looking for people to join our Visits Team – showing visitors around the station, going into schools and groups as well as holding open days and fundraising events! If you are interested please email Penny Maclean, Lifeboat Visits Officer on cowes@rnli.org.uk