While most families will be enjoying their festive celebrations, many of the volunteer crew members from the RNLI will be on call. Should anyone get into trouble at sea, they're ready to drop what they're doing at a moments notice.
In 2011, of the 35 lifeboat stations in the South West, eight responded to emergency calls during the Christmas and New Year period, rescuing four people. Since 2004, they've rescued 91 people over the festive season.
In Dorset, lifeguards will be patrolling Boscombe beach between 10am and 4pm including Christmas Day.
Tom Mansell, the RNLI Inspector for the South West, says the service relies on the support of the volunteers' families, who are prepared for Christmas to be disturbed if someone gets into a dangerous situation at sea.