The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Honorary Health and Safety Advisor for Swimming Pools and former CEO sadly died last Saturday (July 30) at the age of 68, following illness.

Keith Sach was held in extremely high regard for his expertise in this area of Health and Safety across the country and not only provided guidance and support to the RLSS UK but also to many swimming pool operators. As a respected safety consultant he was regularly called upon as an expert witness for his vast knowledge as a leader in his field of sport recreation and leisure.

Keith, who leaves wife Elizabeth, two daughters Kathryn and Alexis, and son Jonathan, was a long term member of RLSS UK’s Warwickshire Branch and had a rich and successful history with the charity.

One of the branch’s former vice-presidents and a previous combined RLSS Commonwealth Secretary and RLSS UK CEO, Keith held a number of senior roles throughout his career.

Born in 1948, a seven or eight-year-old Keith joined his local swimming club in Hounslow, Middlesex, and was encouraged to take RLSS UK awards in Lifesaving.  He took his Bronze Medallion when he was 13-years-old in the open air pool at Ashford in Middlesex.

Keith went on to gain experience working in lifesaving and lifeguarding as a Master at Solihull School in Warwickshire from 1970 to 1979.  From the mid-1970s he served on the National Technical and Lifeguard committee. 

He was appointed as RLSS UK Director and Commonwealth Secretary in July 1979 when the RLSS UK’s Headquarters were at Desborough House in London. The role of Director and Commonwealth Secretary were then split out in the mid-1980s.

Keith was responsible for the move from Desborough House to Mountbatten House, Warwickshire, in 1980 and he oversaw the visit of HM The Queen Mother to Studley for the formal opening of the new premises in June 1981 (the anniversary of Lord Mountbatten’s birthday).

Keith later became RLSS Commonwealth Vice President.

He was for many years a Justice of the Peace and sat on the Bench at several Magistrates Courts Image 1

in South Warwickshire.  He was also High Sheriff of Warwickshire 2013/14.

More recently, Keith was Chairman of IQL from 2001 – 2006.  He oversaw the key change of the trading company RLSS Lifeguard Training Ltd to IQL UK Ltd. The role of an Executive Director was also implemented and reported directly to the Chairman. He was a co-author of the current version of Managing Health and Safety Swimming Pools and in recent years has been a regular contributor to the content of many of RLSS UK and IQL UK awards and qualifications.

Director of IQL UK, Martin Symcox, said: “It was such sad news to hear of Keith passing away. He was such a well-known, respected figure in the industry, an industry far poorer without him.

“He was not only extremely knowledgeable in his field and shared this with thousands of people during his career, but he was well liked by everyone and he will most surely be missed.”

RLSS UK CEO, Di Steer, added: “Keith played a huge part in the society’s history and progress over the years and his impact will always be remembered. All at RLSS UK send their thoughts to Elizabeth and the rest of Keith’s family at this very sad time.” 

President of RLSS UK’s Warwickshire Branch, John Long, added: “Keith Sach devoted much of his life to the admirable twin causes of drowning prevention and lifesaving training.  He will be sadly missed by his friends locally and internationally.”