RNLI International Beach Lifeguard Manual

RNLI International Beach Lifeguard Manual for LICs

The International Beach Lifeguard Manual for low resource settings was written by a consortium of organisations, led by the RNLI International team.  The group included; Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth, the International Federation of Swimming Teachers Associations, the Centre for Injury Prevention Research in Bangladesh, Nile Swimmers, International Surf Lifesaving Association and Lifeguards Without Borders.


This manual was developed especially for use in low resource settings, and was originally trialled in Bangladesh.  This manual has now been successfully run in low income countries across the world.

Dan is a contributing author, and an experienced trainer – delivering this as an instructor training programme in Sudan, Zanzibar and Malaysia.  The manuals are designed to reduce the technical content of beach lifeguard training to the core skills, the bare essential skills that are needed in order to be an effective lifeguard.  It was very important that there was no reliance on expensive equipment, as that is normally unavailable in low resource settings.  Existing services often struggle with limited training and basic or improvised equipment. Prevention and rescue work sets the foundations for a better lifeguarding future for these countries.

The initial RNLI International course, covers the essentials of lifeguarding, including:

  • beach surveillance
  • risk assessments
  • recognising when a person is in distress
  • understanding and using rescue equipment
  • rescue techniques
  • community education.

The course represents a stepping stone to start low-resource organisations lifeguarding in a safe and effective way, whilst looking towards developing their competencies towards the level of the International Lifesaving Federation (ILSF) Beach Lifeguard awards.