Become a volunteer

We are recruting for the following voluntary positions:

  • Shore Crew
  • Fundraisers
  • Public Engagement Representatives
  • Lifeboat Crew

Our Director positions are vital at maintaining the Service and currently we have some vacancies within the team. We are looking for people who have experience or skills in professional fields such as management, engineering, personnel, finances, training, public engagement, duediligance, auditing, compliance and health and safety. If you would like to give your time to an important local charity by bringing your full time career skills to support GAFIRS, please read-on.


What we are looking for:

GAFIRS are looking for people who have the time and commitment to volunteer towards an independent charity which saves lives locally. We are not just looking for time commitment, we are looking for those who can work within our team following our shared behaviours and values such as integrity, honesty, tact and communication skills.


For operational roles, we require those who can commit to at least 16 hours a month through combined duties, training and meetings. Although not compulsory, we are recruiting for members who live or work within 10 minutes of the station and can respond to pager activations by HM Coastguard. These requirements are different for those who wish to volunteer in support roles such as fundraising, engineering, educational work or logistical support.


The training phase takes several months and can be very time-consuming. There is an expectation that candidates will commit to attend all of the training course dates they are given.


To provide a safe and effective emergency service, it is important that we are fit and healthy to serve and rescue the public in potential physically and mentally challenging conditions. Although we accept applications from all and can discuss conditions on a case by case basis, we are unlikely to accept anyone who is diagnosed with, or previously has had, any of the conditions described under the “Medical Exclusions’ on the right.


GAFIRS has three tiers of membership:


Operational Membership

Members operate the lifeboats during rescues and are responsible for their own, the crew and the casualty’s safety. Their lifesaving work is essential, often in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. Our crews respond at a moment’s notice when their pagers go off. They give up their time and comfort to save lives at sea and are regularly called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (As well as going out on rescues, crew members are required to attend regular mandatory training afloat and ashore, and additional specialist training.)


You don’t need to go afloat to be operational. Shore crews provide a vital link in the chain, by launching and recovering the lifeboats, liaising with other agencies and managing the station. Operational Membership is available from the age of 18 years and over.


Supporter Membership

We have a variety of roles which provide the foundations to support the Service functions. Some of these roles include fundraisers, engineers, advisors and public education liaisons. Taking on one of these roles means you can still be part of the team and support the charities cause, but without the burden of operational pressures. These roles do not require the same time commitments as Operational Membership and applicants with declarable medication conditions listed on this webpage may still be able for a supporter postion.


Cadet Membership

Membership is open to anyone over 14 years old. This is an exciting way to spark an interest in rescue and lifeguarding work. As a separate branch of GAFIRS, cadets meet regularly to learn the underpinning skills and behaviours needed to become a lifesaver. Being a GAFIRS cadet also gives you access to a local lifesaving club which is supported by GAFIRS. You will still meet at the Lifeboat Station and form a bond of friendship with other cadets and develop your ability to become an operational member when you are older.


How to Join

Please complete the enquiry form on the contact us page, introduce yourself briefly and make sure to include a postal address so we can send you an application pack. Please make your enquiry clear by making the first line of your message ‘Membership Enquiry’


We hold recruitment open evenings almost on a monthly basis which you will be invited to, at these events, it gives you the chance to understand more about the charity and see if it is something you want to be part of.  You will be offered the next available date after sending your enquiry.

The application pack will explain the rest of the process to you.



  • be over 17 years old (operational)
  • be over 14 years old (cadet team)
  • able to commit at least 16 hours a month
  • be physically fit to provide emergency service response
  • pass a probationary period of 6 months
  • be a team player and be accepted by the rest of the crew
  • enjoy hard physical work
  • get on well with other people
  • communicate easily
  • obey orders and respects the ranks of the authority of both GAFIRS and other emergency services

Medical Exclusions:

  • epileptic seizures
  • heart attack
  • significantly raised blood pressure
  • insulin treatment for diabetes
  • stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis
  • alcohol or drug dependency
  • profound deafness
  • double or tunnel vision
  • mobility impairment
  • unable to swim
  • any condition which impairs fitness to navigate a vessel
  • transient or unexplained loss of consciousness