Chris with watchkeeper certificate.jpg

Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade is a charity saving lives along Sunderland's coastal region. We are a registered charity and all our crews are volunteers.

As a volunteer maritime Search and Rescue service as well as Coastwatch, Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade has been making Sunderland's coast a safer place for all users since 1877.

Our small but fascinating museum traces the history of the Volunteer Life Brigade from its origin to the present day and is well worth a visit, you'll be made very welcome.

In January one of our Coastwatch members became the second person since lockdown ended to pass her Watchkeeper's qualification. Chris Armstrong has only been a member for a few months but breezed through her training to achieve this and is now able to stand watches alone and to assist new members with their training needs. Chris has now become a full member of the Brigade.

Chris is pictured, left, receiving her certificate from John Hunter.

The number of watches stood by our Coastwatch team during April 2022

46 watches
138 hours

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of our friend and colleague Jurek Majer on 21st April.  Jurek joined the SVLB in 2004 and was senior Watch Keeper when the Coastwatch opened.


 Jurek was at the very beginning of the Coastwatch and helped with the start-up. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.


Dave Taylor said “That's terrible news about Jurek. He was a great guy and such a figurehead for the whole brigade.  I spent many happy hours on watch with him, enjoying his company and hearing his tales from his long and varied seafaring career. He will be a big miss to the brigade, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him. So sad”.

Rose has sent flowers and a condolence card to Jurek’s wife Jean from us all at the SVLB.