Portuguese Institute for Lifesaving
The Portuguese Institute for Lifesaving was founded in 1892, and since then, several changes have taken place, but the Institute for Lifesaving, has remained under the Portuguese Government, currently attached to the Portuguese Maritime Authority.
In Portugal lifeguarding is considered as a professional activity, and is regulated by the Portuguese Institute for lifesaving, that according to Portuguese Law has the responsibility to:
- Certify Lifeguards to perform lifeguard duties in Portugal;
- Certify lifeguard academies (that ensure lifeguard training);
- Certify lifeguard Associations (that ensure lifeguard placing and coordination);
- Certify shops that sell lifeguarding material and equipment in Portugal;
- Regulate all the equipment, materials and uniforms used by lifeguards in Portugal;
Besides its main responsibilities, listed above, the Portuguese Lifeguard Institute also has a very important role on the education and awareness of the public, regarding the dangers that are present on beaches or pools, and often cooperates with private companies to raise public awareness to these subjects.
The Portuguese Institute for Lifesaving, also has responsibilities towards rescue at sea in Portugal, through the regulation of the operation of 25 Lifeboat Stations, spread across the country.