‘Imagine you have taken your dinghy out on a fishing trip when the weather suddenly changes. The sea whips up and your boat over-turns, tossing you into the murky depths.

Your boat drifts away and you are left struggling to keep your head above water. What happens next?’

So began a feature in The Mail in 1996 about Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team. It continued: ‘With any luck someone will have spotted you in difficulty and alerted the coastguard, who in turn will contact the local inshore rescue team.

They will ten come to your rescue and pluck you from the water.’

Since it had been founded in 1937, Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team had saved about 150 people from waters covering an area of 55 square miles, stated the feature.

It operated five miles off-shore between the north end of Walney and up the coast to Bootle.

The crew was made up of about 30 men and women, who worked voluntarily.

Everyone worked as a part of the team, whether they were involved in going out on the boat, driving the launch vehicle, manning the boathouse radio or simply making cups of tea.

Call-outs could range from rescuing someone stuck on a sandbank to rescuing a dog. The team had towed in a 48ft vessel and even taken TV personality Anneka Rice out on their boat.

Their record in getting the minimum team of five together was two minutes, although they once heard a coastguard message on the radio and were over the ramp by the time the call came through.

Crew member John Molly said: "The biggest buzz for the majority of us is in doing something for the community and getting nothing in return."

In 1996 16 horseriders trekked 22 miles, including to the summit of Black Combe, in a sponsored event which raised about £1,000 for Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team.

The following year 20 horse riders and 12 mountain bike riders took part in a similar sponsored event.