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.


Fred Roberts.

On July 1st Fred Roberts marked 50 years as a member of the SVLB.


He Joined on the 1st of July 1971 when the SVLB was a Breeches buoy rescue team.


In 1986 the SVLB became a Coastal Search and Cliff Rescue team. In 2004 Fred helped set up the Coastwatch. 


When Fred retired from active service he was Senior Captain on the Rescue team. 


In 1991 he received the Coastguard Long Service medal and has since been awarded two bars to the medal.


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