Sometimes you start out to write one thing and it leads to something else.

I was going to start this column by talking about all the things we are fortunate enough to take for granted in this country - like safe drinking water, reliable power supply, our rubbish being collected, being able to get help - police, ambulance, fire service when you make a phone call and so on.

It strikes me, that whilst these things are true, our ability to take them for granted depends very much on our financial situation, our geographical position, and whether our councils or these organisations have the money and staff to help us.

We need to think about this carefully when next asked to put an ‘x’ in a box. However, the point I set out to talk about remains the same.

One of the biggest things we take for granted in this country – particularly living as we do at the coast, is that in the event of getting into difficulty on the sea, there will be someone , namely the RNLI who will do their best to save us.

Throughout its 200 year history, the RNLI or to use its full title, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has been almost entirely funded by donations.

There is no government funding despite realistically being regarded as the fourth emergency service in towns and villages around our coastline.

Not only that, the people who risk their lives when that call is made are all volunteers.

As someone with absolutely no sea legs at all and an inherent fear of deep water that absolutely blows me away.

Exmouth’s amazing lifeboat volunteers are kept very busy; so busy in fact that they are the third busiest in the South West – which is saying something considering the size of our coastline in the region.

We should also remember the amazing service provided by our Beach Lifeguards during the summer; whilst these are paid roles funded by RNLI they are mostly young people from our town who have chosen to spend their summer looking out for beach users.

It’s not all Baywatch either, with serious lifesaving operations carried out many times this summer alone.

Recently, Exmouth RFC hosted the annual fireworks display in support of the RNLI.

It was a fantastic occasion as always and one of our local Station’s biggest fundraisers, but funding this lifesaving work is an ongoing thing.

Any one of us here could be in need of help – from being in trouble in the water, being cut off by the tide, having a dog in difficulty in the water, the list is endless.

Let’s not take the service for granted, let’s not assume we’ll never need their help.

The next organised event is the Reindeer Run to be held on 17th December with options of either 1km or 5km- register on Eventbrite if you want to join in.

If that’s not your cup of tea, you can always pop a few pennies in their collection box next time you go for a walk on the beach, and if you happen to meet one of the volunteers there at the time- I’m sure a ‘thank you’ would be much appreciated