UK Shipping Minister John Hayes has announced a new £5m fund to purchase rescue equipment for charities across the country.
Initially, money will be provided to 20 projects that deliver equipment for lifesaving charities and the scheme will offer up to £1m a year over a period of five years.
John Hayes said: "As an island nation, the safety of our waters is paramount and our water rescue charities work tirelessly around the clock to save lives and protect the public from harm.
"Therefore, I am pleased to announce the winners of this new fund that will support our hard-working volunteers in this vital task."
The government announced this scheme as part of the 2014 budget statement and the first grant for the period of 2014 to 2015 is expected to be awarded before the end of March.
The second round of the scheme would begin in summer this year.
Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander said: "From the highlands to the south coast, 20 charities across the UK will now receive government funding to make sure they have the best equipment necessary to provide emergency support."
Charities such as Nith Inshore Rescue and East Sutherland Rescue Association in Scotland will receive financial support from the UK Government.
Royal Life Saving Society chairman Brian Pemberton said that the safety equipment will be used by the rescue boat crews when undertaking all-weather training and operational work.
Image: £5m has been allocated for equipment for lifesaving charities. Photo: courtesy of UK Department for Transport .