LIFESAVERS are ready to drop everything and spring into action over the festive period.

Volunteers at the RNLI are on standby, as they are all year round, to help anyone in trouble at sea this Christmas.

In Lyme Regis some 35 volunteers perform a variety of tasks at the lifeboat station. During Christmas many of them were on call in case of an emergency around the coast. 

The Lyme Regis team cover an area of some 450 square miles of Lyme Bay stretching from Portland in the east to Sidmouth in the west.

There has been a lifeboat service in the town since 1826.

These days technology has provided the volunteers with a system ensuring adequate cover when there is a call for help.

Senior helm Tim Edwards, now in his 20th year as a crew member in Lyme Regis, said: “We have a phone app which electronically tells us all about the availability of each of us from day to day, so we always know that we have the right number of volunteers in an emergency.

“Like all of our colleagues throughout the southwest we realise Christmas dinner could be interrupted by a call from the coastguards requesting us to launch the lifeboat. As volunteers with the RNLI it is something we understand and accept.”

Whatever the weather or time of day volunteer lifeboat crew members and shore crew will be ready to react should their pagers sound.

The charity’s volunteer crews are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help save lives not just at sea, but also inland during floods.

James Millidge, RNLI area lifesaving manager said: “At this time of year in particular, I’m always reminded just how extraordinary our volunteers are.

“They give up valuable time with their families throughout the year and the Christmas period is no exception. We are proud to have such dedicated volunteers, with such supportive families who spare them at a time when most other families come together.”

While the RNLI wants people to enjoy the wonderful coastline the region has to offer throughout the winter and festive period, its important people take the necessary precautions and check weather conditions and tide times. 

Visitors to the coast can help keep themselves and their families safe by knowing their limits and not taking unnecessary risk. 

If walking your dog by the coast the RNLI’s advice it to keep your pet on a lead when close to cliff edges or fast flowing rivers. If your dog does get stuck in water or mud it is important you do not go in after it. Move to a place they can get to safely and call them – they’ll probably get out by themselves. If they don’t and you’re worried about them, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.