The county of Suffolk lie’s some 74 km NE of the Thames Estuary on the UK’s East Anglian Coast and is only 90 km from mainland Europe. Suffolk’s 115 km coastline has some very exposed areas and many miles of navigable creeks, estuaries and rivers bordering the North Sea. The area is a hive for marine leisure activity and has taken over from Solent for the number of known marine leisure craft with the estimated economic contribution of recreational boating to the UK economy being 1.042 billion annually. The resort of Felixstowe also hosts the UK’s premier port; which can handle fourteen of the world’s largest ocean going vessels at any one time. Over 7,000 commercial vessels visit the port via the 84 km of deep water channels that make up the second busiest seaway in the UK, the Harwich Approaches. 

The FVCPRS (Guardian Rescue) was formed in 1997 to fill the void left in the areas marine safety cover by the sudden withdrawal of the Felixstowe Coastguard Patrol Boat The services prime objectives are: To promote sea - beach safety awareness through education, and to protect and to preserve life at sea by the provision of a volunteer coast patrol rescue service within the surrounding areas, or wheresoever tasked by HM Coastguard. 

Who are we: We are a group of like minded volunteers from all walks of life whose aim is to ensure that our immediate marine areas remain safe for everybody.

Our motto is ‘In Salutem Omnium - For the safety of all’ 

The service is an additional rescue facility for Coastguard and operates under the MCA Code of Practice for Open Lifeboats. It is one of the UK’s independent marine rescue organisations. 

Under the Civil Contingencies Act, it is a ‘Suffolk Resilience’ Cat 1-2 Resource, maintains a Rescue Team on 24/7 standby, and sits on the SVOG Forum. 

It is a Suffolk Constabulary volunteer Marine Support Unit; accredited by the Government

Cabinet Office with a remit of~ Protective Services & Counter Terrorism for Suffolk and the

Norfolk Broads. To include policing Suffolk’s Waterways, Marine Watch and Project Kraken. 

The service also has a MOA with Suffolk Coastal District Council and Felixstowe Town Council to monitor and control powered watercraft activities and enforce byelaws within its jurisdiction. It is also empowered by ABP - Port of Ipswich to undertake marine patrols of the River Orwell to monitor the general behaviour and instances of excessive speed used by leisure craft 

The service operates two patrol craft under the MCA Code of Practice and is certified to operate in Area Cat 5:20 miles offshore from a nominated departure point (Harwich).


Awards Attained

Royal Humane Soc Rescue Award. London Beacon Fellowship Prize. Suffolk County

Council SAR Award. Chief Coastguard Commendation. High Sheriffs Community Award

Nominated for Queens Volunteer Award. Suffolk County Council Public Protection Award 

Suffolk Coastal District Public Safety Award.


The FVCPRS is a Registered Charity (No 1082443) and is totally independent and whose unpaid volunteers give their time for free. We are pleased to offer our services, but do rely solely on financial support from the public, and various organisations to both survive, and to continue to operate to an extremely high standard.