SOUTHEND Lifeboat Station opened its doors to give the public a taste of life on patrol.

Visitors flocked to the inshore lifeboat house in support of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute's 'Mayday' Appeal.

They were able to catch a glimpse of the search and rescue hovercraft, take a look at audio visual display and chat with volunteers at the station.

During the day, a collection for the charity raised around £300.

A lifeboat station spokesman says the charity is delighted with how the day was received.

He said: “It was great to give everyone an insight to what we do really, and the day acted as a thank you to everybody who has supported us.

“We got lucky with the weather of course which helped us too.

“At the end of the day, we are a charity who try to save lives at sea. We’re very grateful for donations we’ve had across the year.”

Volunteers at the lifeboat station took about 140 calls in 2015, making it the busiest coastal station in the country.

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