It's all systems go for Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week 2016 !
Plans have just been finalised for this year's RNLI Lifeboat Week in Lyme Regis, thought to be the 44th consecutive year of the event in the town.
The detailed programme will be published towards the end of this month, and despite the absence of the Red Arrows, organisers are promising a week full of fun and interest for all the family. Among the highlights on day one, July 23rd, is the hotly - contested bathtub race, involving the lifeboat crew, but which was won for the fifth time running in 2015 by Dorset Fire and Rescue.
Town Crier Alan Vian credited the firefighters with a 'world record' time of eleven and a half minutes. However, organisers of the week, the local RNLI Guild, are expecting more entries this year and plenty of determination from crews to take the title from the record breakers. One guild member said:' The firefighters have had a good run, but it is now time for another crew to show them a clean pair of paddles.'
Local fire chief Virgil Turner said: ' We feel very confident again, but any other crew is welcome to try and beat us. However, we have a Plan A and a Plan B, and neither plan involves smuggling an engine onboard !'
A talk by accomplished speaker Paul Atterbury of the BBC's Antiques Road Show will feture at Uplyme Village Hall on the second day and tickets at £3 and £1.50 will be on sale at the lifeboat shop from July 4th.
On Monday July 25th the produce stall on Marine Parade will include judging of the Great Lyme Regis Bake Off Competition in which entrants make lifeboat-themed cakes.A highlight on Tuesday is the Grand Auction at the lifeboat station with many eye-catching lots. The week includes many favourites such as the duck race, tug 'o war across the harbour mouth and the yard of ale. And there is plenty of music, including for the first time this year, the much-admired Three Counties Swing Band.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.