Tom Owen (49) and Cai Owen (16) are from Haverfordwest in West Wales. Tom joined the RNLI last summer as a lifeguard in North Pembrokeshire, his son is following in his footsteps in joining the team this season.

As a 49-year-old, Tom is the most senior lifeguard in North Pembrokeshire’s team. When asked about how he got into the job he said:

“The seed was sown when in school I completed the old bronze medallion lifesaving award. I then had the opportunity to work as a beach lifeguard for the local council before the RNLI days during my summer holidays. My interest grew whilst in Australia, so I spent a couple of summers out there volunteering mainly for surf lifesaving clubs.

“Joining the RNLI has always appealed to me and now that my children are old enough, I took the opportunity to give it a go. My interests outside work mainly include surfing, cycling and trying to stay fit.

“My age was never a consideration of mine when applying for the job. I’ve always enjoyed working in a team who share the same goals and work ethic. Even despite the 30-year age gap between most, I don’t feel out of place. I joined the team in 2022, it’s great to be outside on local beaches where I grew up. It’s hugely satisfying knowing I’m helping to provide a safe place for all to use.

“I’m excited for my son Cai to join the team. I’m proud of him for smashing his fitness tests and I’m looking forward to working alongside him. Hopefully we’ll get a shift together on Father’s Day! It’ll be nice to spend time together before he grows up completely.”

Cai, who will be starting with the RNLI in the next week, said:

“I’m really looking forward to my first shift at the beach. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years as I’ve always been a keen swimmer and surfer.

“I’ve enjoyed training and competing with Porthmawr Surf Life Saving Club as a junior and now senior. This has given me the skills and familiarised me with the lifesaving environment.

“I’ve just finished my first year of sixth form. Outside of school I spend my time chasing the surf and going to the gym. I’m looking forward to getting experience on the beaches and getting my uniform!

“It’s going to be fun working with Dad. I’m hoping he won’t embarrass me too much! I can’t wait to see him continue to try to beat me in our fitness tests. Happy Father’s Day!’

“I hope other people of my age see that lifeguarding isn’t just for youngsters. If you’re still fit and healthy give it a go, you won’t regret it.”

RNLI Father and Son Surf Life Rescue Lifeguards
(RNLI/Anya Walton)