Independent lifeboat stations have joined forces in a video calling on the public to get behind their local team and support them after a particularly difficult year.

Flookburgh based Bay Search and Rescue was one of the many teams involved in the video, which hopes to raise awareness of the work done by volunteers to keep the public safe and the need for donations to carry on the often lifesaving work.

Station Officer Gary Parsons said: “It was the brainchild of one of the guys at Southport In-Shore Rescue, he contacted the independent teams that are around the UK because we make up, as the video says, a quarter of all coastal rescue services.

“We thought it would be a good idea if we could try and get the public to seek out their local independent team and donate to them this Christmas.”

The local rescue station needs around £75,000 annually to keep operations running in the area, with good cash flow depending on fundraising events and donations from the public.

However, with fundraising events being cancelled and the charity’s shops in Milnthorpe and Grange being shut due to Covid-19 , the public’s help has never been so vital.

“Teams that would normally have a good cash flow have struggled this year to raise enough money to change out equipment, they’re having to do a lot of put up and make do and we do need the public’s support,” said Mr Parsons.

“All the normal events we would go to, like the county show, have all been cancelled.

“Our shops have been shut, they open tomorrow and hopefully the public will come in and support us, they are the backbone of our income.

“It’s what pays for a lot of the essential equipment.

“It’s been a major hit for a lot of charities, we need to rely on our local public to support us.”

The video also acts as a reminder that the service is run purely by volunteers who give up their free time.

“Most of the independent organisations around the UK act in a very professional manner and the public just assume that we are actually a government body and not an independent charitable organisation,” said Mr Parsons.

“We are independent charities; we are all run by volunteers and we’re on a 24/7 365 day rota.

“Which is a big commitment on top of your day job and your family life.”

He added:“We would like the public to locate their local team and show their support and remind them that we rely wholly on volunteers’ time and it’s one of those marvellous things we have in the UK, people giving up a fantastic amount of time for no reward other than helping others.”