The merging of the common objectives of the Fédération Internationale de Sauvetage aquatique (FIS) and the World Life Saving (WLS) was realized by forming a new larger international life saving organisation. The new world body was founded on 24th February 1993 in Leuven/Belgium by the official signing of the merging agreement between FIS and WLS. On the same date FIS and WLS agreed a draft ILS Constitution and draft Bye-Laws. The International Life Saving Federation (ILS) was constituted on 3rd September 1994 in Cardiff (Wales/United Kingdom).
The mission statement of ILS is to link together and support the National Federations of the World which are concerned with safety and the preservation of human life in the aquatic environment. The goal is to reduce the drowning rate in oceans, rivers, lakes and swimming pools.
The aims and objectives of ILS shall be:
- To find the best methods and means of aquatic life saving, resuscitation of the apparently drowned and emergency care.
- To teach lifesaving and establish educational exchanges of aquatic life saving techniques and operations.
- To exchange practical, medical and scientific experiences in the field of aquatic life saving.
- To encourage the conducting of training schools available to the whole of the aquatic life saving world.
- To extend the teachings and activities of the ILS to all places throughout the world and to communicate and act in co-operation with other international Humanitarian Bodies.
- To promote uniformity concerning equipment, information, symbols and laws for control and regulation within the aquatic environment.
- To promote and organise life saving sports and to regularly organise international aquatic life saving competitions in order to stimulate the interest of Members to improve their ability and willingness to save people who are in danger in the aquatic environment.
- To encourage the convening of international Congresses for the purpose of creating links of friendship, solidarity and collaboration between Members and other international bodies which pursue the same humanitarian goals.
- To encourage measures to prevent the pollution of waters and beaches and other elements which are dangerous to the public and users of the aquatic environment.
- To enter into financial transactions for the purchase of fixed or movable assets, or for other purposes which the ILS consider appropriate for its operation.
- To take such other actions as the ILS considers will advance its mission statement goal.
In order to promote closer relationships and activities within a continent or other area of the world, Regional Branches of ILS were founded. Their role is to co-ordinate various Member Federations on all regional activities, help any country requesting assistance and conduct expansion campaigns among nearby countries which are not members of ILS.
Four different Regional Branches were formed: Africa, Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe. All ILS Member Federations within a geographical and political region are automatically Members of the corresponding Regional Branch. All European Member Federations belong to the INTERNATIONAL LIFE SAVING FEDERATION - Europe (ILSE).