Lifesaving Sport

The Royal Life Saving Society UK is the National Governing Body for pool-based Lifesaving Sport - a sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee and the Commonwealth Games Federation. Lifesaving Sport is the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes.

As showcased in our new promotional video, Lifesaving Sport is a competitive and dynamic international sport, with a variety of fun and challenging activities that take place in and out of the water at swimming pools and the beach. It is also an important vehicle to engage young people in lifesaving and support drowning prevention. 

The Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC) tests the initiative, judgement, knowledge and ability of 4 lifesavers who apply their lifesaving skills to an unknown simulated emergency situation whilst working as a team.

The competition tests each team’s rescue skills in and out of the water, as well as their emergency first aid and casualty care, all within a two-minute time limit.

A team consists of four members of either the same or mixed gender. Teams can enter either the Junior, Senior or Master competition, and all team members must meet the age requirements on the day of the Championships. All team members must be members of the affiliated organisation and must be in individual membership of RLSS UK at the time of entry and on the day of competition.

SERC competitors are expected to respond as a group of four individual lifesavers acting in a coordinated team under the direction of an identified team leader.

Unlike lifeguards who often work as part of well-trained teams in controlled aquatic environments, lifesavers must be prepared to respond appropriately in unexpected emergencies without the benefit of specialised equipment, back-up, or established procedures and communications systems.  In such circumstances, the personal safety of the lifesaver is paramount.

RLSS UK holds two National Club SERC Championships; one pool based and the second in an open water environment. Both are open to all RLSS UK affiliated organisations.