Volunteers who operate the life-saving service for the RNLI in Lyme Regis continue to be on standby during the coronavirus outbreak, but events have been cancelled.

The crew members have ‘key worker’ status and will remain ready to launch the lifeboat in an emergency, however, the team’s Blessing of the Boats service, in which wreaths are blessed and taken out to sea by the lifeboat where they are laid to commemorate those lost at sea, has been cancelled.

Nick Marks, Lyme Regis volunteer lifeboat operations manager, said: “Many people will have noticed that the lifeboat station doors are now closed during the day and the station is not open to visitors.

“We have had to do this to comply with the government and RNLI guidance on social distancing and to keep our crew safe. For the same reason it is necessary to cancel any events which encourage large numbers to come to the lifeboat station. This means that the Blessing of the Boats service on May 17 will no longer take place.

“We are hoping that the situation improves over the summer, such that we are able to stage our lifeboat week planned for the end of July. A decision on this will be made later.”