The Sandbanks ferry raised over £1,200 for the RNLI on Christmas Day.

The ferry, which provided free service on Christmas Day, had RNLI staff onboard so passengers could donate. 

Over the day, they raised £1,281 in donations. 

A spokesperson for the RNLI said: "Thank you to all the wonderful travellers who dug deep, had a chat and donated an amazing £1280.71 during the crossings on Christmas Day.

"We are truly blown away and it will go towards helping us to keep people safe and ultimately save lives at sea."

The RNLI also drew attention to one particular volunteer called Gerald. 

Gerald has been a stalwart RNLI volunteer since he was five years old and, since his moved to Poole, volunteers as a visit guide to the RNLI College. 

The spokesperson said: "He should be on prescription as he brings energy and fun, people will see him in full kit, even on the hottest day, carrying a bucket, stopping for a yarn, sharing key safety messages with the children like ‘float like a starfish’, making people smile and he is just a fantastic ambassador."

Gerald could be seen on the ferry adorned in wet weather gear and an RNLI helmet to help boost donations. 

He was also out on Poole Quay on New Year's Day morning for the RNLI and will be so again on January 20 during the Poole Lifeboat Station's re-enactment of the first lifeboat 'shout' in celebration of the charity's 200th anniversary. 

The charity also thanked Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Co who supply the ferry service. 

The spokesperson said: "Thank you, so much, the staff at the Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road & Ferry Co who allowed us to collect and for looking after Gerald."