Welcome to My RLSS UK, an online area dedicated to providing our qualification holders, members, stakeholders, and supporters with easy access to the latest industry safety guidance, policies, resources, and opportunities. As well as providing specialist information, the area signposts you to relevant services and features within your RLSS UK Account (powered by tahdah). 

Every individual, organisation, club, branch, and group in our community is invaluable to us, and we endeavour to provide solutions and added value wherever possible in the hope that you will become a lifelong ambassador of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK). Together we can work towards the Charity's mission to be the leader in lifesaving and lifeguarding in the UK and Ireland. By sharing our combined expertise and knowledge, with as many people as possible, we can provide everyone with the potential to save lives and enjoy water safely. 

We hope you find the area useful, if you require further support please call 0300 323 0096 or email [email protected]. 


On 31 May 2023, 17-year-old Joe Abbess went to Bournemouth beach for a day out with his friends. Joe got into difficulty in the water when he was pulled further out by a suspected rip current. He tragically drowned that day. 

Joe, from Southampton, could swim and his mum, Vanessa, describes him as a healthy, strong, and sensible 17-year-old who was only waist high in the water. Joe was also within a safe swimming area on a lifeguarded beach.

Vanessa has now bravely spoken out about the importance of water safety education and is working with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to raise awareness at local and national levels, and lobby the Government to add mandatory class-based water safety lessons to the curriculum.

Vanessa said: “Since our son Joe's tragic death, we are shaken to the core. He will always be loved and missed by his family and friends! I am determined to raise awareness that the sea is not always a safe place and conditions can change suddenly. I want to see as many children as possible educated in water safety and I really hope to make a change. Joe was a very caring young man and, if he had survived that day, he would be raising awareness, so in his memory, I hope to educate others to prevent further drownings.

“The day Joe lost his life, alongside Sunnah Khan on 31 May this year, he was at the beach having a lovely day with his friends, as he had done many times previously, before tragedy struck. We are heartbroken that he never came home.

“He was amazingly fit and healthy, a handsome young man who went to the gym (at least 4 times a week) and could swim. He was coming to the end of his first year at City College (Southampton) and working as a Trainee Chef at Southampton Football Club. Joe had big dreams and was incredibly ambitious, he intended to open his own fine dining restaurant one day, which his Tutors and colleagues believed he would do. We will always be very proud of him.

“As a family, are still trying to process what has happened, as are his wonderful friends, especially those that were with him that day. I have always fought for my sons' corners, and I will now continue that for Joe, and others.

“I am pleased to be working with the Royal Life Saving Society UK to do just that and together we can continue to raise awareness.”

Although Joe and Sunnah were not known to each other, Vanessa speaks to Sunnah’s mum Stephanie regularly and both mothers are supporting RLSS UK’s work, which the charity is extremely grateful for.

Support for families

*Image – Joe Abbess, 17, on the way to Bournemouth beach, the day he tragically died.