Lyme Regis lifeboat recruits face their first Christmas on call

Watch the RNLI’s video above about crew being on call over Christmas, filmed in Lyme Regis and featuring many local crew members and their families

LIFEBOAT volunteers across the country will be on duty this festive season, ready to launch and answer the call for help from anyone in trouble at sea.

For many RNLI volunteers, this will be their first Christmas carrying a pager to alert them to the need to launch the lifeboat.

New Lyme Regis recruits Giles Bristow and Maria Barbashina pictured during their training in Poole

In Lyme Regis, two new recruits – Giles Bristow and Maria Barbashina – are preparing for their first Christmas on call with the rest of the crew.

Giles, father to twin nine-year-old girls, moved with his family from London and joined the crew in May this year.

He said: “It’s all about being part of the community here and having what I feel is an important role to play.

“Of course, at Christmas the downside would be a call on the big day, but the upside would be answering that call and playing that important role in the community.

“The girls are very sweet about my lifeboat involvement and never hesitate to put their pennies in their money boxes for the RNLI charity.”

Maria, an artist, originally from Russia, commented: “I am looking forward to Christmas, of course, but if the pager goes off I will just run. It’s simply instinct.

“I drop whatever I am doing and get to the lifeboat station in the quickest and safest way, and the safest way is often a sprint along the seafront.

“The only exception I can think of is if I am in the shower covered in soap when the pager goes off, then it may take a little longer. But that has not happened… yet!”

Giles and Maria recently completed their emergency procedure course at the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole and are now trainee sea-going crew with the Lyme Regis lifeboat.

Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched more that 1,200 times during the festive season.

The Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat has launched 34 times answering emergency calls so far this year.

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