Now RNLI Lyme Regis lifeboat crew have the X-Factor !
RNLI lifeboat volunteers in Lyme Regis now have their own version of the X-Factor to help them save lives at sea.
The RNLI has supplied the town's volunteer crews with a so-called X-boat, a ten foot inflatable with oars.
Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick Marks explained: 'We tend to have a number of cases of people being cut off by the tide. The idea of the X-boat is to try to avoid asking crew members to swim ashore to reach people, particularly those cut off.
'This has often been necessary when the lifeboat has been unable to reach shore safely.'
The lifeboat crew are currently evaluating the value of the inflatable during training sessions.
The X-boat would be taken aboard the lifeboat during an appropriate 'shout' and later rowed by two crew members who would go ashore to offer reassurance, assistance, and even first aid to anyone in trouble.
Nick Marks added:' We are hoping the X-boat will improve our operational ability still further to assist those in difficulty ashore.'
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.