- Help prevent the loss of life at sea by supporting search and rescue operations
- If you're a coastguard rescue officer volunteer you could be called out at any time of the day or night
- If you're a watch officer, you'll be outdoors in all weathers, on patrol or on rescue missions
- Handle emergency distress calls
- Monitor radio and satellite communications
- Give information on safety at sea
- Give weather and tidal reports
- Coordinate operations
- Handle reports of wreckage, pollution or debris along the coast or at sea
- Supervise or assist in search and rescue operations
As a coastguard rescue officer volunteer you could be called out at any time of the day or night. As a watch officer, you'll be outdoors in all weathers, on patrol or on rescue missions. You must be prepared to work anywhere in the UK in all weathers.
Coastguards need knowledge of public safety and security, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure and the ability to work well with others.
You'll usually join the coast guard service as a watch assistant, watch officer, or coastguard rescue officer volunteer. You'll need literacy, numeracy, and IT skills to be a watch assistant. You'll need literacy and numeracy, good hearing and eyesight, and seagoing experience to be a watch officer.
You'll need to be at least 18, have a full driving licence, live or work within 30 minutes of the rescue station and pass a medical and fitness test to be a coastguard rescue officer volunteer.
You can apply directly to employers if you have some of the relevant skills and knowledge needed for this role. You can get these skills from the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force or the Merchant Navy, other activities involving boat work and navigation and experience as a coastguard rescue officer volunteer.
With experience, you could be promoted from coastguard watch assistant to watch officer, then to watch manager or section manager. There may also be opportunities to work in other parts of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.