Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay have a very
unique and special asset available which is spread across 3 local authorities
covering Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, this asset can be found on the
foreshores and beaches from Sandbanks at the western end right along Poole Bay
around Hengistbury Head and down to Friars Cliff it Mudeford in Christchurch at
the eastern end.
This asset takes the form of 6 completely voluntary Lifeguard Clubs whose
members give up their spare time to provide a safe place for members of the
public to come and enjoy the delights of swimming in the sea and playing with
friends and families on the above mentioned beaches.
10 years ago these 6 lifeguard clubs were the sole Lifeguard providers on the
beaches and had been providing safety cover at weekend and bank holiday Mondays
during the summer months, in some cases since the 1950s. In fact the youngest of
the clubs has been in existence since at 1990..
These 6 clubs felt the need to form an association which came to be called
the Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch Life Saving Association. This
association combined all 6 clubs along with the beach staff from the 3
local authorities , along with the RNLIs Lifeboat Crews, Dorset Ambulance,
Dorset Marine Police and HM Coastguard. The association enabled a standard
approach to water safety and lifeguarding in the area and enhanced the service
that they were able to provide by having a co-ordinate approach and built better
working relations with all parties involved..
More recently the PBCLSA has expanded its boundaries to welcome eon board a
Lifeguard/Rescue club from Portland in Dorset to enable us all to help each
other and benefit from each other experience and qualifications and skills.
The aims of the PBCLSA are quite simply:-
promote all water safety activities
develop life saving activities when and where ever the
need becomes apparent or requested
work in the closest co-operation with all other bodies
and organisations who work is conducive to the aims of
The association is also unique in that
it is made up of 3 RLSS-UK Lifeguard Units and 3 SLSA-GB
Lifeguard units, although several of the units are already dual
affiliated. This was deemed to be a first in the UK in having clubs from
different governing bodies working alongside each other and they continue to do
so and their ties have grown stronger ever since.
comprises of all Life Saving Clubs operating on the beaches of
Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, affiliating to the
association. Associate Membership comprises of
any organisation whose aims are conducive to those of the
Branksome Surf Life Saving Club,
Christchurch Life Saving Club,
RLSS Boscombe Lifeguard,
RLSS Poole Lifeguard,
Southbourne Surf Life Saving Club
A committee, made up from 2
appointed persons from each of the affiliated Clubs and a
representative from each of the Associated Organisations, runs
the association. The Officers of the Association are elected from
the 12 nominated persons from the Affiliated Clubs.
The reason behind the formation of
the association, is as mentioned above, to bring together all the safety / rescue
units operating in the area, so that everyone can get to know
each other, not just professionally but personally as well, thus
creating a good interaction between all units. Knowing the people
that you are dealing with on the other end of the phone/ radio,
will greatly enhance the already high standard of Lifeguard
Supervision / Assistance that the area can provide to the public.