About ILS

The International Life Saving Federation is composed of national aquatic lifesaving organisations (known as Member Federations) from around the world.

Through our own work and that of our Member Federations, we lead the global effort to reduce injury and death in, on, or around the water.

We accomplish this by assisting existing national lifesaving organisations; facilitating and developing a global exchange of drowning prevention and lifesaving information and of best lifesaving practices; helping establish lifesaving organisations in areas of the world where they are needed, but do not exist; acting as the International Federation for lifesaving sport; and cooperating with other international bodies with shared goals.

In this section of you can learn more about our history, our Patrons, as well as the different parts of the organisation.

The supreme authority of the ILS is the General Assembly in which member organisations are represented. The General Assembly establishes ILS priorities. The Elective General Assembly is organised every four years and elects a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors guides the ILS and conducts the business of the organisation between meetings of the General Assembly. The General Secretariat (Headquarters) is currently located in Leuven (Belgium) and houses the administration.

The ILS decentralises its affairs under the management of four Regional Branches. The Branches are established in and for Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe and are responsible for initiating, supervising and coordinating regional activities.

The ILS has created Commissions which in turn have Committees responsible for the management, development and technical aspects of each major ILS field of activity. The four Commissions are: Drowning Prevention, Rescue, Lifesaving Sport and Business.

The ILS also cooperates with partner organisations, governments, non-government organisations (NGOs) and sponsors to promote lifesaving worldwide.

The ILS is a unique international federation in that it sponsors and sanctions athletic competition as an important method of furthering its humanitarian lifesaving work. Lifesaving through competition is one of the established goals. The motto of the ILS is “be fit to save a life”.

Like most nonprofit organisations, the ILS has a Constitution and Bye-Laws.

If your lifesaving organisation would like to become a member of the ILS or you yourself would like to become a member, the Member area explains this.

You may also learn more about the ILS Headquarters in this area of the web site.