South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade

Saving Lives
Since 1866

Welcome to South Shields Volunteer Life Bridage

Since it was founded in 1866 South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade has been at the forefront of search and rescue lifesaving around the coast and riverside of South Tyneside. Today the Brigade continues to proudly uphold its motto to be “Always Ready” to work with HM Coastguard and other emergency services to provide a highly-trained team of volunteers able to carry out rope rescue, water rescue and search and other related duties. The team is on call to respond to emergencies at all times of night and day and in all weathers.

South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade has a long and proud history of lifesaving with an unbroken record of service to the local community for over 155 years. From the early days of shipwrecks using the breeches buoy to today’s rope rescue, water rescue and search using modern day equipment, the spirit of volunteer lifesaving continues to add to a rich history.
The lifesaving work of the Brigade is much respected and well regarded by the local community and further afield. Local businesses, community organisations, individuals and visitors are very generous in their support. In 2017 the Brigade received the local Council’s highest accolade with the Freedom of the Borough of South Tyneside. In 2021 the Brigade was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service with a special commendation for work during the pandemic.

The Brigade’s primary role is to provide Search and Rescue in conjunction with HM Coastguard and other emergency services. Members train regularly to maintain high levels of capability in a wide range of skills in rope rescue, water rescue and search procedures and First Aid. The team is “Always Ready” to answer the call.

The Watch House

Since it was founded in 1866 South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade has been at the forefront of search and rescue lifesaving around the coast and riverside of South Tyneside. Today the Brigade continues to proudly uphold its motto to be “Always Ready” to work with HM Coastguard and other emergency services to provide a highly-trained team of volunteers able to carry out rope rescue, water rescue and search and other related duties. The team is on call to respond to emergencies at all times of night and day and in all weathers.

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