They are commonly regarded as the fourth emergency service – the heroes of the sea.
And now the coastguard in West Norfolk is on the look out for people to join in them as they work to keep people enjoying the county’s coastline safe.
Along the coast there are dedicated teams of volunteers on call 24-hours-a-day ready to respond to their pagers in the event of coastal emergencies.
The volunteer team is controlled by a network of full time coastguard rescue centres who have at their disposal specialist rescue teams, lifeboats and helicopters.
The coastguard team at Hunstanton are looking to recruit new members who are willing to make a long-term commitment to becoming a coastguard rescue officer.
Chris Guy, one of the station officers at Hunstanton, said: “The team can have a maximum of 11 members, but at the moment we are down to five.
“We’re down to the bare bones as the numbers have dwindled recently.
“On average, we have to attend 65 call-outs a year with 80 per cent of those being between May and September.
“We’ve got just enough members to operate at the moment, but if there was a major incident we would have to call in flanking teams from other sites.”
The coastguard teams can be called on to carry out a variety of tasks, including cliff rescues of both people and animals, water rescues, searches for missing persons, people cut off and stranded by the tide and any small craft in difficulties.
The teams also play a key role in preventing loss of life at sea by carrying out safety talks to community groups and organisations and by carrying out regular coastal patrols.
“We are looking for dedicated people who are willing to help others and who are available at a moments notice,” explained Mr Guy.
“Comprehensive training will be given, but a general understanding of the coastline, a general level of fitness and being able to swim in water are also important.
“It’s a very narrow pool so any new members need to be within 15 miles of Hunstanton just so we’ve got a wider-range of people location wise.”
Anyone interested in joining the coastguard team should go to the open evening at the station, based on the Hunstanton Commercial Park (PE36 6LX) on Monday, April 11, at 7pm.
Alternatively, people can register their interest on the Hunstanton Coastguard Rescue Team page on Facebook.