Volunteers and representatives from the Drowning Prevention Charity and RLSS Commonwealth went to a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (yesterday) to mark its 125th anniversary.

RLSS UK’s President, Ian Hutchings and CEO Di Steer joined the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Michael of Kent and HM the Queen, yesterday, as she presented three prestigious honours on behalf of the society.

Ian Hutchings said: “It was an honour to be part of such a prestigious event and see lifesaving across the Commonwealth celebrated in this way.

“For many of us, lifesaving is part of our everyday lives and events like this give us the opportunity to appreciate what a valuable contribution RLSS UK makes to the Commonwealth.”

Trained lifeguard Tyler Bailer, 17, from Canada was given the Russell Award for saving his stepfather’s life by using CPR.  

Professor John Pearn, from Australia, was awarded The King Edward VII Cup in recognition of his lifelong contribution to researching drowning prevention.

And, Zac Dominic, from St Lucia, was also honoured with the Mountbatten Medal after risking his life to save a man who was being dragged out to sea by the current.

Di Steer added: “The Royal Life Saving Society was founded in London in 1891 by William Henry in response to hundreds of unnecessary drownings in the UK. Today, around 400 people die from drowning in the UK each year and thousands more suffer injury, some life-changing, through near-drowning experiences. We continue to work hard to reduce these deaths year on year in the UK.

“I am proud that our organisation has been recognised for its achievements and would like to congratulate everyone who has been awarded.”

Find out more about RLSS Commonwealth here.