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 it's origin to the present day and is well worth a visit, you'll be made very welcome.

The brigade is finally back to full, double watchkeeper working and on the move!

We have our first new Coastwatch trainee attending the lookout and on his way to becoming a full member of our team and able to take responsibility as watch officer.

Kristian has been a trainee since the onset of the pandemic but has kept in touch being very keen through the Covid-19 period of lockdown and continued to express his enthusiasm to complete his final steps to becoming a watchkeeper.

Kristian has now attended three watches and has easily managed to complete tasks and learn the protocols associated with becoming a watchkeeper.

Kristian is the first trainee to wear the white SVLB trainee shirt that will become normal attire for our Coastwatch recruits. He looks very smart as the photograph testifies.

We look forward to seeing Kristian at training sessions at the Watch House in the coming months, the lads will make him feel welcome as the Brigade moves on from the pandemic and we look forward to brighter days.

Keith Johnson.

Dept. Captain.



To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade had been temporarily stood down after the second lockdown period for the safety of the public and its staff.

As of the 4th of December, we have started a phased return to duties and the Coastwatch team will be standing single watchkeeper watches through the week.


Search and rescue restarted training on the 2nd December socially distancing to remain covid secure.