Privacy and security

British Divers Marine Life Rescue is committed to treating your personal information responsibly and being open and transparent about how it uses it. This notice explains how it uses the information you share, and how we protect that information.

Privacy policy 

If you are an existing BDMLR supporter, the way it communicates with you will depend on the preferences you expressed when you chose to opt in – or out – of communications.

If you have previously opted in to receive BDMLR communications, it will continue to respect the preferences you last stated. If you get in touch and request new permissions, BDMLR will always use your latest instruction.

Who is BDMLR?

Whenever you see the word BDMLR, it refers to British Divers Marine Life Rescue, a charity registered in England and Wales (803438), and Scotland (SC039304).

Your acceptance of this policy, and BDMLR’s right to change it

By using the BDMLR website, its social media pages, entering competitions or providing information to BDMLR you consent to BDMLR collecting and using the information you provide in the way(s) set out in this document. If you do not agree please do not use its website, social media pages or services.

BDMLR reviews this privacy notice regularly and may change to it from time to time. Any changes it makes will appear here and will apply to all future processing of data, including data that is already being processed by BDMLR. This notice was last updated on 17/04/2020.

Personal information

BDMLR collects personal information about you when you:

  • ask about and book onto a BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic Course
  • register for information
  • call our emergency hotline
  • volunteer and or fundraise
  • make a donation or enter a competition
  • purchase items from the online shop.
  • Email, write (digitally through social media or by post), phone or text BDMLR or otherwise provide us with your personal information.

Personal information is data used to help identify you, directly or indirectly, such as your name, date of birth, bank account details, supporter or medic number, personal skills associated with BDMLR’s rescue activities, location, phone number, an online identifier (eg. ISP address) or one or more factors specific to your physical, digital or social identity. 

BDMLR only collects sensitive information about supporters when there is a clear reason, for example, relating to your health, and only where appropriate – such as for animal rescues, or where it needs to ensure it provides appropriate support to enable you to participate in an event. BDMLR only collects sensitive personal data with the supporter’s consent.

Policy details

It is important to read the full privacy policy to understand what information BDMLR holds, how it may use it, and what your rights are. However here is a summary of the details:

BDMLR collects personal and non-personal information that is either personal data (as outlined above) or non-personal data (such as web pages accessed).

  • BDMLR asks for special category personal data. For example, it needs to know any special skills and experience you may have that could aid a specific rescue.
  • BDMLR collects contact phone and possibly email addresses, plus name, date and location details of individuals who report animals in need of its assistance.
  • BDMLR only collects data needed to provide outstanding services to supporters, medics and the animals it rescues.
  • BDMLR collects information to provide services or goods for fundraising opportunities.
  • BDMLR collects data so users can access and use the services of its online shop.
  • BDMLR is committed to keeping your personal information secure. For example, it uses a secure internet connection whenever it collects personal data online.
  • BDMLR never sells your data and it never shares it with another organisation for marketing purposes.
  • BDMLR only shares data where it is required by law or with carefully selected partners who work with us. For example, with other rescue agencies involved in a rescue attempt.

Those are the basics, the full policy is below.

Full Data Protection Policy

This notice is designed to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The UK Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and other like-minded data protection legislation and successive legislation.

It applies to BDMLR’s website, use of text messages, social media messages and emails for marketing and rescue purposes, and any information collected by BDMLR. It covers why it collects data, what is collected, what it does with the information, what it will not do with the information, and what rights you have.

The information BDMLR collects and why?

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) collects data to plan, support and execute its animal rescue efforts, run Marine Mammal Medic Courses, keep supporters informed of its activities and service customers of its shop. Data collected includes both personal and non-personal such as web pages accessed and files downloaded. This helps determine how many people use the website, whether they visit on a regular basis, and how popular different pages are. This allows it improve services and information it provides.

There is no obligation to provide any data, but if you do not provide the relevant information, BDMLR will not be able to provide the service you requested such as booking you onto a course, contacting you as a Marine Mammal Medic or supplying ordered goods from the BDMLR Shop.

BDMLR uses the data provided to:

  • hold on a database of Marine Mammal Medics to allow it to facilitate its role as an animal rescue organisation. This includes name, address, contact info (landline, mobile, email etc), and relevant skills for marine animal rescue
  • fulfil requests – such as supporter applications, competition entries, campaign participation and research
  • process shop sales transactions, course payment, donations, or other payments and verify financial transactions
  • handle orders, deliver products and communicate with you about orders
  • comply with charity law and other legal requirements
  • record any contact it has with you
  • prevent fraud or abuses of its website and enable third parties to carry out technical, logistical or other functions on its behalf
  • communicate with supporters and customers, for marketing and promotion purposes (unless the individual has opted out of such communication)
  • carry out analysis on demographics, interests and feedback to help gain a better understanding of supporters, medics and website users to enable BDMLR to improve its service
  • organise events and plan fundraising activities
  • manage volunteers and allow it to utilise lapsed supporters and medics in emergency situations

Any interaction with BDMLR may result in personal data being created. For example, if you make a donation, the date and amount will be recorded.

If you engage with one of BDMLR’s Just Giving campaigns or at an event or volunteer to help, your involvement details may be recorded so BDMLR can ensure any future communication  between you and BDMLR is tailored to your interests.

If you visit the BDMLR webshop and place items in your basket, but do not complete the transaction a reminder email may be generated. In the same way if you begin a donation but do not complete a reminder may be sent.

Sharing information

BDMLR only shares information with organisations vital to a rescue and never for marketing purposes. Information supplied to third parties could include: Name, contact number, location and physical description. (Eg, so a member of another rescue organisation can contact and find you on a beach to facilitate a rescue).

In certain situations BDMLR may also supply details to emergency services such as the police, fire brigade, Coastguard etc.

Social media

BDMLR only uses social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube) in accordance with their own terms and conditions. If you have an account on one of these platforms, you too will have agreed to these terms and conditions. All platforms operating in the UK must comply with data protection laws when processing or storing the personal data of individuals in the UK and Ireland.

While BDMLR makes use of messaging services such as Facebook Messenger and will undoubtedly use future messaging services (Whatsapp, IG Messenger etc), it operates within the legal framework and terms and conditions of the platforms. Data such as your username, location and link to your social media account my be collected during these interactions.

Visual imagery data

BDMLR takes images and video footage of its activities using equipment carried by medics, any supporting crew and it seeks to obtain usage rights from media and members of the public. Capturing visuals of rescues provides valuable footage for training, for use in media releases and to help raise vital funds to ensure its animal rescue activities a financially sustained into the future.

BDMLR medics, supporters and members of the public may appear in these images and footage. Medics may be identified by name as a way to thank them for working on a rescue or at an event. Members of the public may be recognisable, but will not be named. BDMLR does not require permission to use images of identifiable individuals if the image was taken on public land. Where permissions are required BDMLR will do its utmost to seek permissions, however, this is not always possible.

Therefore, if you are observing BDMLR activities (a rescue, a course or an event) be aware that video footage or images may be captured of you and could be used in news stories, in media releases and on marketing materials.

BDMLR Events

BDMLR will collect and use your information where you are participating in an event it is holding or attending. This will allow the organisers to prepare the event(s) and ensure insurance, dietary, medical or access considerations are adhered to.


BDMLR volunteers conduct various fundraising efforts. These include, but at not limited to, sponsored walks, runs, marathons, swims, cycles plus quizzes, raffles etc. Your personal information is collected should you sponsor one or more of these events in order for BDMLR to keep you informed of the fundraising effort and to collect any funds due on completion.

Payments and card data

BDMLR processes payment information in different ways. These include regular donations, supporter fees, shop transactions, course payments, one-off donations, legacies and may be undertaken using cash, cheque, bank transfer, direct debit, card payment at a point of sale and remote payment (such as online or over the telephone).

Where payments are made using a debit or credit card, BDMLR does not store or retain the card information (PAN, CVV2,).

All direct debits are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

BDMLR website transactions are handled by Stripe, a secure online payment platform.


All BDMLR volunteers (medics and otherwise) are classed as supporters. Supporters’ information is captured and stored so a set of reminder emails can be sent out a year after the supporter joined BDMLR. A set of possibly three reminder emails are sent to the email address BDMLR keeps on file. If you change email address please contact BDMLR informing them of your new email address so the database can be updated.

Marine Mammal Medic database

Volunteers who have successfully completed the BDMLR Marine Mammal Medic course are entering in the Medic database. This holds contact and useful information about all medics and is used to contact medics near to a rescue or with the relevant skills to assist with a rescue.

To ensure this database is as up to date as possible medics are requested to supply any change of the information BDMLR holds on them. This could be address, email address, contact number and any additional skills acquired over the previous year.

Storing information

Data held by BDMLR is stored on computers located in the UK. BDMLR also stores information in paper files.

BDMLR places great importance on the security of all information. It protects data to the best of its ability against loss, misuse and alteration. It controls who has access to the data and what does not store any data on off site servers.

How long does BDMLR keep personal data?

BDMLR only keeps personal information for as long as it needs it to: administer your supporter relationship; provide you with goods or information you require from its website; and to comply with the law. BDMLR will always dispose of information it no longer required securely.

However, there is HMRC requirement to retain of Gift Aid declarations for six years. In this instance, the legal obligation is the lawful reason for retaining data and cannot be overridden by any objection by you.

The below summarises the reasons why we process data, what legal basis we are using, and how long we will keep information about different groups of people:

Your rights

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) grants certain rights to you over the data BDMLR holds about you and how we use it. These include your right to:

  • access personal information BDMLR holds about you, known as a subject access request
  • object to BDMLR processing (automated or otherwise) personal information about you
  • object to information BDMLR holds about you being used for marketing
  • restrict processing of your personal information
  • rectify your personal information if you believe it is incorrect – BDMLR wants all information we hold about you to be as accurate and up-to-date, so please let us know if anything changes

request the deletion of your personal information (Certain information cannot be deleted as it is a legal obligation to hold it for a set time period).

Requests relating to the above must be in writing and come from a verifiable source and can only come from yourself, or a registered nominee. Requests will be dealt with in accordance with all applicable data protection laws and regulations.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights please contact BDMLR, Lime House, Regency Close, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 1DS.