Come and Join In!

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea

Join Us

We're recruiting enthusiastic men and women who we need to help us get to rescues quickly and efficiently. We need boat crew and tractor drivers who will be on call as part of a duty rota and will respond to their lifeboat pagers when required. Without the boat crew and tractor drivers, the lifeboat simply cannot launch and lives cannot be saved.

Come down to the lifeboat station on any Sunday morning to meet some of our existing crew, get a tour of the station, boat and tractor, and have all your questions answered.

If you just want an informal chat over a cuppa, we'll be happy to accommodate. Most of us know how daunting it can be coming down for the first time, and the worries of "can I do this" or "will I fit in". Why not come down and find out?

The Tractor

The Lifeboat

Do YOU Have What It Takes?

In a word, probably!

For the tractor drivers, as long as you have a full UK driving license, or for boat crew, as long as you are physically fit and between the ages of 17 and 45, you can commit a few hours each month to training, and can spend one week in four "on call" and ready to respond to your pager at a moment's notice (when you're not at work, obviously), then you should be able to join up. Still not sure? Please read some of our case studies to find out about some of our volunteers and their backgrounds

What Is Expected Of You

You will join one of the four "duty crews" - A Crew, B Crew, C Crew or (wait for it) D Crew. Each of these crews consists of a team leader (who generally takes charge of the lifeboat at sea and organises crew training and other station duties during their week), a number of boat crew and one or more tractor drivers. Your team will be on duty once every four weeks from Friday evening (around 6pm or whenever most office workers get home from work) until the following Friday evening. You will be expected to spend an hour or two at the station at the beginning of your duty week to inspect the boat, tractor and equipment. Most teams do this from about 7:30pm on Friday evening. Then there is some general cleaning of the station for a while, after which there may be some training time or just a sit down and catch up over a cuppa before going home.

The lifeboat is launched once or twice a week on a training exercise, and you will be needed to participate in these vital training exercises no matter what your role is. The timings of these trips are arranged within the team to best suit everyone's availabilities.

The most important part of your duty week, though, is that we need you to remain in the village for the duration of your duty week (except for those who work, of course!) and be ready to respond to your pager at a moment's notice, day or night. Of course, if you do need to leave town for something, you can always get some help to cover your duties if required. As long as you can provide some cover for other people as well, then people should be able to help out if you're too busy to respond.

After that, there's odd things here and there - a specific training session that isn't on your duty week but you might want to go to; A talk to a group at the station that you can help with; A cheque presentation photo call that you want to get your face into, that kind of thing...

What About Family Life?

Lets not pretend it's easy, but yes quite a few of our existing crewmembers and tractor drivers have husbands, wives, children and pets that all need their time and attention. If you're not sure how this fits with your commitment to the station, talk to an existing crewmember (email link below if you don't know anyone to talk to yet)

We have a few social activities during the year to encourage your family down to the station to meet other crewmembers and their families - like summer beach barbecues (experts at Rounders especially wanted), fireworks in November, even joining in our annual Spooky Walks! However, your family is welcome at the boathouse at ANY time outwith these events. Just make sure they can stay out of harms way if the pagers go off and a dozen lads and ladies start running around the station!

What If You Work?

Of course, most of our crew have jobs (although not all!) so we accommodate this fully. If you work "office hours" (ie Monday-Friday 9am-5pm ish) then you don't need to worry about the rota when you are at work. These times are covered by other crew who are available even when they're not on duty (shift workers, housewives/husbands, students etc). However, if you work evenings/overnight or at weekends then you may need to get cover whilst you are away. This is usually not a problem if you ask well enough in advance.

At the end of the day, we don't pay you for your time so we can't get in the way of your paid employment. It would be a good idea to discuss your intended new hobby with your employer so they are aware that there might be the occasional disruption because of your lifeboat duties. It is rare, but you might find yourself a bit late in to work occasionally because of a rescue. If it helps, encourage your employer with the good that will come from your time on the crew. You will learn vital life saving techniques (our tractor drivers can also be trained alongside our boat crew to a first aid level that is more advanced than standard civilian first aid courses offer), people skills (dealing with challenging situations and working in a team), and of course safe working practices. You are also providing a vital rescue service to the public of Fife and Edinburgh which, if your employer helps you, they are playing a part in as well.

How Much We Pay

Nothing. Sorry, but your reward is whatever you take from your time with us - skills, self satisfaction, friendships...

Is There A Fitness Test?

There is a fitness test for sea going lifeboat crew, but if you take a look at most of our team you'll see that it is not very difficult to pass. You need to have no colour blindness at all and only limited vision correction is allowed, but otherwise you should be fine. Tractor drivers do not need to pass a fitness test, but you DO need to be able to perform your duties safely. Either way, you will have to be fit enough to respond to the pager and get to the station at all times of the day and night. Unless you live at Kinghorn beach, and if you drive to the station, you will be expected to park on Harbour Road and make your way down the footpath to the station.

Do You Need To Live In Kinghorn Village?

Yes, or on the outskirts of Kinghorn (Abden Home to the east, Pettycur holiday park to the west). We launch in around six minutes from the pager going off, so we cannot expect people to get from Seafield or Burntisland without having to break the speed limit.

However, in the past we have accepted people on the crew who live outside the village if they happen to work in the village, but would then only respond to their pager whilst they are at their place of work. Your specific situation can be discussed with our Lifeboat Operations Manager.

Any Other Questions?

If you want to ask us ANYTHING else about being part of the station, feel free to email us at or call our recruitment manager Neil Martin on 07443 425664. No question is too silly or obvious. You could even arrange to meet with one of us in person and discuss what is involved and ask questions then. We look forward to hearing from you! Still not sure? Please read some of our case studies to find out about some of our volunteers and their backgrounds