Lyme says farewell to its lifeboat

Pearl of Dorset is paraded through the town ahead of her retirement from service next weekend

Hundreds of people turned out in Lyme Regis on Sunday to say farewell to their lifeboat – The Pearl of Dorset.

Residents and visitors lined the route as the vessel was paraded through the town and along the seafront, towed by a trailer.

Crew members handed out sweets and toy lifeguards to children in the crowd.

Newly-appointed town crier Alan Vian was in fine voice as he told the crowd how the boat had answered some 500 calls for help and saved at least 50 lives during the past 15 years.

The volunteer crew decided to parade the boat through the town as a thank you to the people whose donations paid for the vessel.

After the parade, escorted by crew members, police and coastguards, Lifeboat Operations Manager Graham Forshaw and Mayor Sally Holman delivered addresses at the lifeboat station and the town crier led three cheers for the Pearl of Dorset.

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A larger, faster lifeboat – an Atlantic 85 class – is due to replace her on Saturday.

* Following Sunday’s parade RNLI officials were presented with a cheque for �527 by Anna Cole who organised an evening of music and a raffle at the King’s Arms, Seaton, towards their appeal to buy new lifejackets. Crew members Jon Broome, James Rice and Andrew Rice received the money.