'I love what I do at the RNLI'

Last night (31 October) we saw the finale of what has been an incredible series of Saving Lives at Sea.
Portsmouth Lifeboat Crew Member and Lifeguard Kim Dugan

Photo: RNLI

This series of Saving Lives at Sea has been packed full with stories of our volunteers who manage to balance their busy home lives with their dedication to saving lives at sea.

If you missed last night's episode you can watch it here. Here’s an interview with lifeguard and volunteer crew member Kim who is selflessly committed to rescue and prevention in Portsmouth…

Meet Kim – the mermaid saving lives in Portsmouth

As a child, Kim Dugan wanted to be a mermaid. Now that she’s a senior lifeguard, crew member and one of the stars of Saving Lives at Sea, Kim’s practically living the dream.

‘I’ve been with the RNLI lifeguards at Southsea for 5 years now. I’ve done eight seasons in total, if you include my rookie lifeguard days before the RNLI. So I’ve seen and experienced a lot for someone my age, and everyone says I grew up quite quickly as a result of it.

‘I joined the Portsmouth lifeboat crew at the beginning of the summer in 2016. I joined the crew I guess because I didn’t really have any real reason not to.’

Kim also finds time in her busy schedule to do important preventative work through our Meet the Lifeguards programme. She loves delivering safety talks to children both in schools and on the beach because ‘it could potentially save thousands of lives – which is amazing!

‘The longer I’ve been doing this, the more passionate I have become about the work the RNLI does. I’ve seen first-hand the impact it has on individuals and how it saves lives. It started off as just a summer job, but the longer I did it, the more I saw how many incidents could be easily prevented through advice and education. I wanted to be part of that.’

So how does Kim feel about balancing all these roles?

‘Working as an RNLI Lifeguard, being a full-time university student and being on pager is a busy life!

‘I still wish I could be a mermaid now! But I love what I do at the RNLI. It’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done, and the people I have met from doing this over the years have changed my life. It’s a social thing for me too - fellow lifeguards and crew mates become your close friends.’

It’s thanks to the dedication of volunteers like Kim that we can continue to save lives at sea – whatever your role is at the RNLI, you’re playing an important part in our lifesaving story so thank you!