Volunteer as a coastguard

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, eg carrying heavy equipment to rescue sites

As a volunteer you won’t 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.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency will write to your employer telling them that you’re a rescue officer and asking if you can respond to emergencies during work hours.

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

Training and equipment

You’ll be given initial training by HM Coastguard, followed by regular training opportunities to keep your skills up to date.

This will include training in:

  • first aid
  • map work
  • search techniques
  • communications
  • skills you need for your local area, eg 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.