SAVING LIVES SINCE 1933
Portsmouth and Southsea Voluntary Lifeguards (PSVL) is a beach lifeguard club based on Southsea seafront, in the City of Portsmouth. Founded in 1933, we are proud to claim to be the oldest lifeguard club in the UK. Our HQ is located on the promenade just to the east of Southsea Castle, next door to The Briny Restaurant. PSVL is affiliated with the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), a member of the Solent Sea Rescue Organization (SSRO), and a member of the National Independent Lifeboat Association (NILA).
The focus of our club is to provide lifeguard cover for Southsea seafront by providing supervision of the lifeguard patrol zone, between South Parade Pier and the Pyramids Leisure Centre. We encourage swimmers to use our patrolled area for their increased safety, and our lifeguards will carry out duties including beach surveillance, shore patrols, on-water patrols, and first aid. We also respond to the local area and beyond when required.
PSVL is a declared rescue facility for HM Coastguard.
This means that the unit has undergone rigorous scrutiny of their training, equipment, and performance capabilities by HM Coastguard, who will utilise our services to respond to 999 incidents in the area at agreed-upon availability times. As part of that training, we train with the local HM Coastguard SAR helicopter, which provides winching exercises afloat with our rescue boat.
Providing safety cover at special events.
In addition, the club also provides rescue and first aid cover for special events, some examples include triathlons, pier to pier swims, cross Solent swims and power boat races to name but a few. We have also provided safety cover for TV and film interests.
Providing public awareness.
Community involvement is at the heart of PSVL’s day-to-day existence. We aim to increase public awareness of water safety and lifesaving rescue techniques. We give talks to community groups such as schools and youth groups and provide training for a variety of RLSS-approved lifeguarding and resuscitation awards.
As a voluntary lifeguard club, our membership is made up entirely of volunteers who provide their time and skills without payment of any kind.
Collectively, we are financially responsible for all maintenance, repair, and operating costs of the headquarters, boats, vehicles, and other lifesaving equipment. We are fully dependent on public donations, fundraising activities, and grant funding for major of purchases and cost.