Like lifeboat organisations around the world, Tanzania Sea Rescue’s life-saving services are delivered by volunteers.
Our volunteers join for many reasons: Access to world-class training, the satisfaction of life-saving and straightening community safety, or the excitement of serving on a lifeboat. But what all share is a passion for preventing loss of life in our Tanzanian waterways, as well as a commitment to our communities, our fellow crewmembers, and to our own personal development.
The volunteer promise
What our volunteers can expect from us:
- We will prioritise your safety. We invest in the best training and equipment we are able to procure within our resource limitations, and we develop our operating parameters with crewmember safety as our foremost concern.
- We will provide access to top-quality training. Tanzania Sea Rescue provides its volunteers with specialty training so that they can carry out rescues safely and effectively: and this very same training may well prove extremely valuable for your career development. The greater your participation with Tanzania Sea Rescue, the more training and experience you will receive, and the stronger your skills will become.
- We wish to make the experience an enjoyable one! Working through challenges creates close teams and strong friendships. Most importantly, the knowledge that you are directly assisting in saving lives is one of the most rewarding emotions possible.
Just as we will be investing in you, we expect that you will invest in us in return. Different roles require various levels of commitment, but we expect that all our volunteers will, as a minimum:
- Embody our values of Safety, Professionalism, and Honesty at all times and especially while participating in Tanzania Sea Rescue activities.
- Take your training development seriously, and (for Lifeboat Crew Members) attend at least twenty training events per year to maintain your skill level.
- Be a team-player. Your fellow team members will count on you for their safety, and in-turn you will expect to count on every member of your team, both on off the lifeboat, to support you during every training operation and rescue mission. Be dependable, so that your team members know that they can rely on your word and your actions.
- Attend ‘shouts’ with regularity. We understand that there will be instances when you are unable to report in-time. But a lifesaving volunteer who is regularly unable to attend cannot assist a person in-need, and should find another role better suited for his or her actual availability.
Roles & Responsibilities
Volunteering as a Lifeboat Crew Member may represent the most obvious form of participation, and indeed it’s an extremely important one. Make no mistake –– this is a serious commitment, and one that requires a significant investment of time before you are able to be a safe and productive member of our crew. For those up to the challenge, we expect that you will find the experience to be a highly rewarding one! Lifeboat Crew Members must live or work within 10-15 minutes reporting distance to Msasani Slipway jetty. Future Lifeboat Crew Member volunteers can expect to begin their TSR experience in some other role (see below), and grow into a Crew position as they receive training and demonstrate reliability and commitment.
Shore Support Crew volunteers are every bit as much a part of our lifesaving work as the volunteers in the lifeboat itself. Shore Support Crew volunteers are trained in basic first aid to help receive casualties. They learn skills in navigation and communication to help track and direct our lifeboat during its operations, and they help coordinate any additional support that may be required to complete the rescue successfully.
Community Leaders may well save the most lives, and they certainly do it most effectively: By working with local communities and at-risk groups to reduce the chances of serious accident, our Community Leaders work to fix the problem right at its source: Through prevention!
The Lifeboat Station volunteers may not be as public-facing as other roles, but without their Tanzania Sea Rescue would simply not be possible. Their activities include maintenance to keep our boats in reliable running order, organisation our training programs, fundraising, book-keeping, website management, media communications and records management, to name a few key task.
TSR strives to provide all its volunteer the tools, training, and mentorship they need to fulfil their role successfully and meet their related personal growth goals. We borrow well-proven models wherever possible, to give our volunteers access to the highest quality training we can procure, within our resource limitations.
Lifeboat Crew Member Training is competency-focused, and is based on detailed learning program developed by the RNLI, based on that organisation’s 200 years of lifeboating experience: The RNLI’s “Search and Rescue Manuel” is our crew’s main syllabus for skills development, and this is supplemented with more specialty skills training where appropriate.
Our volunteer’s first-aid training is based on the Emergency First Response program. After successfully completing TSR’s full basic first aid course, volunteers may choose to register their qualification with Emergency First Response.
How to get involved
Tanzania Sea Rescue holds occasional “Open Days” where some of volunteer leaders will be available to speak with members of the public about TSR’s activities, and share more details about what it means to be part of our team. Visiting one of our Open Days is a great way to see if volunteering with us may be a good fit for you.
If you’re not able to attend and Open Day or wish to get involved sooner, send us an email or find one of our volunteers after a regular training session: We’re hugely proud of what we do, and always happy to share more about our experience as Tanzania Sea Rescue volunteers!