What to expect as a volunteer

As a coastguard rescue officer you:

  • could be called out at any time of the day or night
  • may have to work in hazardous situations for long hours
  • may have to carry out physically demanding tasks, for example carrying heavy equipment to rescue sites

As a volunteer you will not be paid. You can claim a small amount for your time and expenses.

Volunteering and working

You can have a full time job and still be a coastguard rescue officer.

You must ask your employer if you can respond to emergencies during work hours before you become a volunteer.

You can still go on holiday - just let your coastguard manager know when you’re going to be away.

Training and equipment

You must pass initial training by HM Coastguard, followed by regular training to keep your skills up to date.

This will include training in:

  • first aid
  • water rescue
  • map work
  • search techniques
  • communications
  • skills you need for your local area, for example rope rescue, mud rescue

Training is often held in the evenings or at weekends.

You’ll be given all the equipment and protective clothing that you need.