Lyme Lifeboat Week to lose Red Arrows
PUBLISHED: 06:59 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:18 01 October 2015
Organisers also say a sad farewell to the RAF Falcons Parachute Team
Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week is losing two of its biggest money-spinning attractions - The Red Arrows and RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team.
They will no longer be thrilling crowds at the resort because from next year RNLI officials will have to pay for them to appear - a bill expected to top £15,000.
For many years the Red Arrows have performed free of charge during lifeboat week as a ‘thank you’ to the RNLI for its contribution to search and rescue work.
But the organisers of the week, the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild, have learned that due of the transition of search and rescue services from the RAF to a civilian contractor, display charges will apply in future.
As usual the guild applied for a visit from the Red Arrows almost immediately after this year’s Lifeboat Week.
In their response it was stated that the current charge for the Red Arrows was £12,184 and the Falcons £2,939 and these costs were likely to rise next year. The RNLI guild said that they were unable to find sufficient funds from donations in Lifeboat Week to pay for these display and thanked the Red Arrows and RAF Falcons for their support over many years.
A spokesperson said: “For many years we have been very fortunate with the Red Arrows and the RAF Falcons visiting the town in Lifeboat Week and supporting the RNLI charity free of charge. Their stunning displays have been a huge attraction to residents and visitors alike, and we know their inclusion in the programme of events has been responsible for raising many thousands of pounds for our charity. “Regrettably, we cannot find sufficient funds from donations in Lifeboat Week to pay for these displays. The presence of these two magnificent teams will be sorely missed by thousands of people, but this year – when they could not fly because of
the weather we felt we were still able to provide plenty of family events, and donations were not severely affected. Our final figure for this year’s week is in the region of £25,000.
“Finally, we would like to extend our deep gratitude to the men and women of the Red Arrows and the RAF Falcons and, indeed, the Ministry of Defence, for their wonderful support for our fundraising over many years.”