About SLS Cornwall

Surf Life Saving Cornwall is a Region of the Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain, Britain’s National Governing Body for Beach Lifeguarding and Life Saving Sport

Through the Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain (SLSGB) the Cornwall Region is affiliated to the International Life Saving Federation. This World Water Safety organisation coordinates the activities of rescue, education, medical and competition committees, for the benefit of all member nations.


Our objectives are:

  • The prevention and reduction of loss of life by drowning on beaches
  • To develop and promote the education and instruction of water safety and life saving skills, be responsible for examinations and qualification award schemes.
  • To develop and promote lifesaving skills through sport, be responsible for Region lifesaving competitions, coaching and Region Teams representation.
  • To enrich the lives of young lifesavers through fun, involvement and the acquisition of personal, lifesaving and competition skills in a safe aquatic and outdoor environment.


The Organisation

Surf Life Saving Cornwall is a charity organisation with 21 voluntary Surf Life Saving clubs affiliated representing more than 2000 members.



Surf Life Saving originated in Australia in the 1900’s. Due to the growth of the seaside towns and swimming as a leisure activity, drowning and inevitable accidents occurred. Local residents of coastal areas formed patrols to alert people to the dangers of the surf.

The Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain was formed in 1955. Today there are over 75 clubs affiliated to the Association, with members aged from 7 – 65+. The motto of the Association is ‘Vigilance and Service’ and during the last 50 years lifeguards have affected over 18,000 rescues. Many of these professional lifeguards have come from the volunteer ranks of our clubs, where they start to learn their skills.

The membership is divided into three different sections – Nippers, Youth and Seniors. The Nippers, who are the very youngest members, were formed in 1992 and have grown in popularity ever since and feed into the Youth Section where they learn even more skills.

The primary activity of Life Savers and Lifeguards is to patrol beaches, helping to protect the beach environment and saving lives. Anyone can help rescue someone from the surf but trained Life Savers do it more effectively. Joining a Surf Life Saving Club, members get a chance to train with experienced Life Savers and Lifeguards using a range of techniques and equipment.


  • Be physically fit.
  • Be skilled at using rescue equipment.
  • Know rescue techniques, resuscitation methods and basic first aid.
  • Be competent in the skills of swimming in open water.