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, South West RNLI Inspector
We have a remarkable team of volunteers in the south west who crew and launch our lifeboats and it’s at this special time of year that it becomes ever more obvious how dedicated and committed they are to saving lives at sea, sacrificing this special time with their loved ones if the pagers go off.
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.