WHO / WHAT IS THE PBCLSA?                                       

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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:-


To promote all water safety activities


To develop life saving activities when and where ever the need becomes apparent or requested


To work in the closest co-operation with all other bodies and organisations who work is conducive to the aims of the Association

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.

Full membership 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 Association.

Affiliated Clubs


Associate Organisations

Bournemouth Lifeguard Corps,
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.