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  • The Royal Life Saving Society – saving lives in the Commonwealth for over 120 years

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  • Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships 2013 4 – 8 September 2013 Canberra, Australia

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To the website of Commonwealth Lifesaving - The Royal Life Saving Society.

Commonwealth Lifesaving is dedicated to the prevention of drowning and is working to eliminate drowning in the Commonwealth

We have member branches active in 28 Commonwealth nations, who fulfill the Royal charter to reduce drownings around the world. In this effort the Royal Life Saving Society provides advice and education to Governments, NGO's and individuals on how to develop water skills.

Please note this website is currently under construction. Please bear with us while the upgrade is taking place. If you have any urgent enquiries please do not hesitate to email us directly on commonwealth@rlss.org.uk 

Recent News

Kenya Lifesaving Federation holds National Lifesaving Championships

Lifesaving sport is a relatively new sport in Kenya and in June our Member Branch, the Kenya Lifesaving Federation (KLF) held their National Lifesaving Championships at St Austins Academy.  Nine clubs were represented with over 100 competitors taking part.  A total of 79 races took place during the day which included manikin carry and tow, obstacle swim, line throw and manikin and medley relay events.  Although the majority of participants were young the levels of skill shown by many were above average and shows how lifesaving sport is developing within the country as more coaches and competitors become aware of the sport.

Teams taking part in the Championships were: Kabarak University, Loreto Convent Valley Road, St Austins Academy , Kenya Lifesaving Federation - Nairobi branch, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Falcon Lifesaving Club, Nakuru County Lifesaving Unit, Loreto Convent Msongari and Hydra Sport Swimming Club

One of the barriers to participating in lifesaving sport is the cost of the equipment but KLF are a superb example that when developing lifesaving sport you can use improvised equipment; modified “swim noodles” are used as rescue tubes and 20 litre, 5 litre and 1 litre jerry cans as manikins

At the end of the Championships the top three teams were:

1st           Loreto Convent Valley Road

2nd          Nakuru County Lifesaving Unit

3rd           St Austins Academy

At the end of the Championships KLF thanked all participants, coaches and officials for the support and passion they share in promoting lifesaving skills and lifesaving sport in the country.

Our congratulations go to all at KLF on hosting such a successful event.

Rashtriya Life Saving Society holds first ever seminar on lifesaving in India

Our congratulations go to the Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS India) who in partnership with the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture held the first ever seminar on lifesaving in India titled “Saving Lives and Building Communities” at the beginning of June 2014. 

The objectives of the seminar were to create a structured process to support lifesaving activity and educate safety consciousness amongst the population, discuss global methods to reducing deaths by drowning with a view to adopting some of these methods, to seek views of corporate organisations on possible Corporate Society Responsibility (CSR) roles in saving lives and the impact it has and will have, and to look at policy and standards to be set by the Government to add value to life in India.

Rear Admiral PD Sharma opened the seminar recounting on how RLSS(I) was formed, how it has progressed over the years and its ambitious plans for the future with an objective to add value to life and the stigma of ‘life is cheap in India’ long forgotten.

John Long, Commonwealth Vice President and former Commonwealth Secretary of RLSS Commonwealth attended the seminar and in closing stated “India has moved form a time where safety was seen as a second priority and more and more stakeholders are seeing it as a mandatory tool to achieve effectiveness at home, in transit and at work.”

If you would like to view a full report on the Seminar please email commonwealth@rlss.org.uk

From left to right: Shri SK Jain, Cmde Rajan Vir, R Adm PD Sharma, Prof Dr SB Mujumdar, Mrs Dianne Montalto and Mr John Long

41 Members of Parliament sign up to RLSS UK’s pledge plea

Representatives from RLSS UK travelled to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London this week ahead of its annual national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week, which runs from 21-29 June 2014.

Throughout the afternoon they ran CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions and MPs from across the UK were invited to find out more about the charity and its work, as well as sign up and “pledge to support the delivery of water safety education to all under 18 year olds in the UK”.

A question was also raised in the House on drowning prevention and water safety during an adjournment debate that evening tabled by Sharon Hodgson, MP.

RLSS UK President, Peter Moyes, said: “We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session and can’t thank them enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round and especially to get water safety education taught in all schools.

“Tragically, more than 30 people drowned in just seven weeks during last summer’s heatwave. Around 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year - one every 20 hours - and thousands more have near drowning experiences.

“These deaths could have been avoided and we are thrilled to now have the help of the 41 MPs to add to the work of RLSS UK staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to reduce drownings and save lives.”

Local MP, Nadhim Zahawi who has been working with RLSS UK and supported them in organising the event said “I am very proud to have hosted RLSS UK in Parliament today; it’s fantastic that so many MPs have pledged their support.”

“RLSS UK does brilliant work to educate people in lifesaving skills and water safety across the country and I am sure that my colleagues will be promoting this vital work throughout their constituencies during Drowning Prevention Week and beyond.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, where two girls – 15-year-old Tonibeth Purvis and 14-year-old Chloe Fowler - tragically drowned in the River Wear last summer, worked with the RLSS UK to secure the debate in the House of Commons to press Ministers on this issue.

She added: “After the tragic death of Tonibeth and Chloe last summer I was keen to help the RLSS UK put their case to the Government. With the warm weather upon us and the school holidays approaching, I was pleased to be able to press ministers on how we can prevent more tragic accidents from occurring this year, and into the future.

“I am hoping that this message will have been heard loud and clear in Whitehall, and that Ministers will give serious consideration to the very sensible calls made in the RLSS UK Manifesto.”

Jackie Roberts, the mother of student Megan Roberts, who tragically drowned in the River Ouse in York on April 3rd this year, has been working with RLSS UK on a number of projects over the past few months. She also attended the event and added: “I am working with the RLSS UK as my daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her and to prevent further tragedies.

“It was great to talk to MPs today and hopefully raise the importance of the charity’s work and the importance of water safety education.”

(Left-Right) RLSS UK’s Director of Lifesaving, Adrian Lole, RLSS UK President Peter Moyes, Sharon Hodgson MP, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Jackie Roberts and RLSS UK CEO Di Steer with signed pledges at Westminster

Honorary Commonwealth Treasurer appointed

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Clive Patrickson as Honorary Commonwealth Treasurer to the Royal Life Saving Society with immediate effect.  Clive is Global CEO of Laerdal Medical and has been working in various role for Laerdal for 25 years.  Prior to this Clive was involved with RLSS in the capacity of Executive Director for the Victoria Branch of RLSSA, National Technical Director for RLSSA and Assistant Director of RLSS UK.  Clive’s particular interest is in Business Development and he is keen to help ensure the future financial stability of the Society.  Clive’s appointment has been endorsed by the Business Development and Commonwealth Management Committees.  We believe Clive will make a valuable contribution to our work and look forward to working with him.

125th Anniversary Celebration - Volunteers Wanted!

In 2016 the Royal Life Saving Society will celebrate 125 years of saving lives across the Commonwealth.

The 125th Anniversary Steering Committee is seeking volunteers to lead on Commonwealth-wide projects to mark this important occasion in the life of the RLSS.  The 125th celebration will:

  • Mark the RLSS Commonwealth 125th anniversary and celebrate the Society's many achievements
  • Increase public awareness of the activities and achievements of the RLSS
  • Support an increase in participation in RLSS programs
  • Support drowning prevention
  • Increase and strengthen the link between member branches and with the Commonwealth Society.  Build relationships among members, partner, governments and staff and inspire members to contribute in the future and inspire members to contribute in the future.

Projects will be in the areas of:

  • Communications
  • Expansion of Survival Swimming within the Commonwealth
  • Commonwealth 125th Momentos

Project Leads will:

  • Provide overall leadership, communication, coordination, support, orientation and financial and supervisory oversight to his/her project
  • Develop project tools and templates as required
  • Contribute to development of budget and timelines.  Stay within approved budget. Notify Steering Committee Chair of any financial issues
  • Seek and consider input from stakeholders as required
  • If the Lead desires a Project Committee, he/she will identify required skill sets and potential candidates and recruit and appoint
  • Execute approved plan to achieve desired outcomes

This is a two-year volunteer commitment.  There is no compensation however reasonable pre-approved expenses will be provided.

To Apply:

If you have skills, experience and interest in one or more of the above projects please contact Emma Harrison at Commonwealth Headquarters for an application form or further information on commonwealth@rlss.org.uk or +44 (0)1789 774229


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