A volunteer from Burnham-On-Sea will be among South West’s newest RNLI recruits to spend their first festive season on call as the charity aims to support saving lives.
For new RNLI volunteer Ellie Baker, 21, it will be her first Christmas as a crewmember for Burnham-On-Sea lifeboat station.
Ellie’s circumstances changed in 2021 allowing her to work in Burnham rather than Bristol and to start a cake-making business.
She also works in the cafe opposite the station so is often the first to arrive for a shout. Ellie’s Dad Lyndon has been an RNLI volunteer since 2003 so Ellie and her three brothers grew up around the station.
She said: “The RNLI was always part of our lives growing up, there were many family occasions that Dad had to leave to help someone in trouble at sea and Christmas’s were spent with the threat of a pager going off.
“This year, I will be joining my Dad on call over the festive period, I know there will be thousands of volunteers, like me, wearing pagers and ready to help those at trouble on the water.
“At this time of year, the weather’s at its worst and lives can be on the line but we know if we’re needed we can rely on the training and equipment we receive, thanks to the donations people have generously made to the RNLI.”
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews around the South West will be on duty this festive season, ready to launch and answer the call for help.
As they call on the public to support the RNLI’s lifesaving work this Christmas, for many of the volunteers, they will be facing their first Christmas with a pager having recently joined the crew.
With thousands of volunteers around the UK and Ireland, each RNLI crew member signs up to save everyone from drowning – it has been the charity’s mission since 1824. This Christmas many will leave their loved ones behind to answer the call, each time hoping to reunite another family, and see those in trouble at sea safely returned. Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched over 1,200 times during the festive period.