• Whomsoever you see in distress, recognise in them a fellow human being

    Banner 1
  • The Royal Life Saving Society – saving lives in the Commonwealth for over 120 years

    Banner 2
  • Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships 2013 4 – 8 September 2013 Canberra, Australia

    Banner 3


To the website of Commonwealth Lifesaving - The Royal Life Saving Society.

Commonwealth Lifesaving is dedicated to the prevention of drowning and is working to eliminate drowning in the Commonwealth

We have member branches active in 28 Commonwealth nations, who fulfill the Royal charter to reduce drownings around the world. In this effort the Royal Life Saving Society provides advice and education to Governments, NGO's and individuals on how to develop water skills.

Please note this website is currently under construction. Please bear with us while the upgrade is taking place. If you have any urgent enquiries please do not hesitate to email us directly on commonwealth@rlss.org.uk 

Recent News

Do you have an interest in the Society's history?

As part of our 125th Anniversary celebration in 2016 we would like to update and share our historical record.

We are looking for a Volunteer who can develop and manage a process to solicit RLSS historical information from our Member Branches, as well as from our archives and organise it into an easy to read format that will be shared via our website and/or Facebook page.

This information will go online at the beginning of 2016.  No website/Facebook expertise is required but you should have the ability to organise information and carry our basic research.

You may be aware that during our Centenary year in 1991, the Royal Life Saving Society published a book by Ronald Pearsall, "Lifesaving - The Story of The Royal Life Saving Society - The first 100 Years".  This book details the formation and growth of the Society from 1891 through to 1991.  This book will be an excellent resource for the first 100 years.

This Volunteer role will begin in March 2015.  If you are interested in this role or taking on a portion of this project please let us know by email commonwealth@rlss.org.uk

RLSS UK in Partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

RLSS UK has gone into partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.  The DofE scheme is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities, designed to support the personal and social development of young people aged 14-24, regardless of gender, background and ability.  The DofE Awards will be used to help bring more young people into, as well as keeping them involved for longer, in lifesaving activity.  This will lead to more rounded citizens with good quality water safety education and skills.  As a National Operating Authority RLSS UK can now administer the DofE Awards meaning it can be used as a powerful too in increase engagement.

On Tuesday 13th January 2015, RLSS UK staff and volunteers attended a private reception at St James Palace in order to collect their DofE Operating Licence from Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.  This was followed by a DofE Gold Award presentation which highlighted how the programme effectively encourages and motivates a generation of young people.

2014 Recipients of the Queen's Young Leaders Award Announced

Last year saw the launch of the Queen's Young Leaders Award which recognises 60 inspirational young people each year from 2014 to 2018.  This years recipients have been announced.  60 winners from 35 countries are the first to be recognised as exceptional leaders in their communities with this prestigious Award.  The Award, which will be presented in London by Her Majesty The Queen, in June, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities.

If you know of anyone who might be worthy of a nomination in 2015, please let us know.

Inaugural Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Report for Sri Lanka Launched

The Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka and Life Saving Victoria recently hosted the launch of the inaugural Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Report for Sri Lanka.  Developed in collaboration with Life Saving Victoria and the World Health Organization, the report analyses the prevalence of drowning related deaths in Sri Lanka and the need for water safety.

Chief Guest at the event, High Commissioner of Australia, Her Excellency Robyn Mudie commended the progress made and the planning, cooperation and collaboration that is so evident in the way organizations across Sri Lanka have banded together to further this common cause.  Emphasizing the commitment Australia has to sharing their knowledge and experience to help Sri Lanka, she went on to say that  Australia would continue to contribute in many ways to increase Sri Lanka's crisis preparedness.  Her Excellency also cited "the altruism that characterizes Sri Lankan people" and stated that this, coupled with a strong approach to drowning prevention by all relevant agencies in Sri Lanka, will ensure that the findings and recommendations of this report are put into play to ensure that is impact is felt for years to come.

Sri Lanka has one of the highest drowning rates internationally, ranking 12th highest in a comparison of 61 countries, and 10th highest when compared to 35 Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).  On average, 855 people drown in Sri Lanka each year, a drowning rate of 4.4 deaths per 100,000 persons (from 2001-2006 and in 2009).  Given issues with reporting, these figures may indeed to even higher.  The impact of these deaths on family, friends, rescue and response teams and the entire community is immeasurable.

The report combines statistical data with information gathered during focus groups with rescuers and responders to drowning incidents from each of the provinces in Sri Lanka.  In addition, organizations that were involved in drowning prevention activities in Sri Lanka in the past 10 years (2004-2014) were are surveyed.

The full report can be viewed here

RLSS 2014 Newsletter

The latest edition of the RLSS Newsletter - A Commonwealth Conversation can be viewed here

WHO releases the first Global Report on Drowning

The global drowning report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) is shocking. The worldwide loss of 372,000 lives to drowning each year is both disturbing and unacceptable. 

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) welcomes the report for putting the issue firmly on the global health agenda, and wholeheartedly supports its recommendations for improved data, national water safety strategies, tailored programmes and global partnerships.

Read the full statement here.

Copyright 2012 by Royal Life Saving Commonwealth Terms Of Use Privacy Statement