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Saving Lives at Sea & on the Broads


Hemsby Lifeboat or to use its official title, Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service (HIRS) in an independent service and although an official declared facility and subject to all the same requirements including training as the more well known RNLI.

We rely entirely on donations from members of the public and companies to keep our service trained to a high standard, maintain all our equipment and attend every request for our assistance. This requires two important elements, the support of the local and wider community and volunteers to give up their valuable time to assist us on every aspect of running a lifeboat service and charity.

We are constantly looking for new Crew but it is not a decision to be taken lightly. We will welcome your application but before you apply think long and hard about the levels of commitment and dedication that are required, as well as basic physical fitness.

Come down to the boathouse and talk to us and we can guide you. Here are just a few details to start you on the journey of making the right decision:

  1. As a Crew member, you must be physically fit and capable of lifting heavy objects work in confined space and able to maintain high levels of physical effort without placing yourself at risk.
  2. Can you get from home or place of work to Hemsby Lifeboat Station within 5 minutes?
  3. Can you commit to training twice a week on a Wednesday evening throughout the year from 17:45 till at least 20:00 and on Sundays from 08:45 until 12:00?
  4. Are you willing to assist with fundraising functions on a weekly basis throughout the summer months and in December?
  5. On average, a crew member will donate their time which is the equivalent of one day per week, that’s 52 days a year excluding callouts.
  6. During callouts, if you are not selected for the job, or cannot get to the station in time you are still required to man the station until the crew returns. Are you willing to commit to this?

If you can answer yes to all these questions and you’re still interested then we would like to talk to you.

Being a member of the crew is not for everyone but there are many other important roles to perform for the service and one of these is to help with the maintenance of the boathouse and the equipment under the guidance of the Coxswain and engineers.

If you’re interested in volunteering for this role we would be pleased to hear from you. Particularly if you have a specialisation, for example, marine engines, automotive or mechanical engineering or property maintenance.

The crew carry out essential maintenance at least twice a month, this is a vitally important role as the equipment needs to be in tip-top condition to ensure it remains serviceable at the most important times in the year, our rescue missions. Over the last few years the number of jobs we attend has increased and so maintenance is a big issue.

The cost of running the service is increasing each year and as a charity, we have to maintain a certain reserve in the accounts too. At present, it is costing us approximately £30,000 a year to keep both our boats and other equipment in service.

We are one of the many declared facilities around the UK coastline that is fully independent and therefore not part of the RNLI. This means that we still have to meet the high standards required of any lifeboat station but we do not benefit from any form of funding other than the kind donations from the community.

Our fundraising capability is second only to performing the actual rescue’s and is our highest priority other than saving lives at sea and on the Norfolk Broads. It is for this reason that we are constantly seeking people with a passion for the lifeboat and the local area to join us as one of our fundraisers. As a volunteer you can do as much or as little as you are able, the truth is every little is a great a help.

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