Sunderland VLB Search & Rescue Team

    SVLB was originally set up to assist HM Coastguard with the saving of lives from shipwreck by the use of shore based rescue equipment; rocket apparatus and breeches buoy. After the use this type of equipment became obsolete in the 1980’s the Brigade adapted to become a coastal search and rescue service that is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Search and Rescue Team are fully trained to carry out searches for missing persons, usually on the surrounding beaches and cliff tops. They train with the most up to date equipment for cliff rescues involving people and animals, as well as the use of radios and standards for radio communications.

    All team members are trained in first aid, casualty handing and the use of communications equipment. They frequently work with other emergency organizations such as RNLI, HM Coastguard, the RAF and Police Services. Regular exercises with such services also take place during the year. The Team is a declared facility for HM Coastguard and are trained to their standards.

    Volunteers with the rescue team come from all walks of life eg ex-shipyard workers, a city councillor, oil rig workers, students, teachers and nurses. Each person brings their own skills and strengths to the Brigade. Full training is always given and regularly updated. What we ask is a commitment to regular training, a keenness to learn and the ability to work as part of a committed team. Training takes place on one night per week as well as regular weekend patrols and exercises.

    Members can also train to be one of our cycle patrol who cover the promenade and beach areas in the summer; they carry essential first aid equipment and can quickly reach casualties where vehicular access is difficult.

    The Brigade helps to provide safety cover at several local events including the Sunderland Air Show and the Boxing Day Dip.

    A reasonable level of physical fitness is needed for membership of this team as the safety of members of the public as well as team members may rely on a person’s ability to carry out their role.

    The Brigade also promotes safety of the coast by giving talks to community groups and schools.



    Sunderland Volunteer Life Brigade:::The Watch House, Pier View, Roker, Sunderland. SR6 0PR

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