Lifeboat week team still buoyant despite wet weather
PUBLISHED: 08:01 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:01 31 July 2019
After a scorching start, rain forced the cancellation of some lifeboat week events at Lyme Regis yesterday (Tuesday).
Following three sunny days, strong winds and rain brought casualties in the programme - paddle boarding tuition, the hole-in-one competition and the tug-of-war competition across the harbour mouth. But the popular children's crab fishing did take place.
The week had begun in glorious sunshine which saw thousands pack the town and the beaches.
Star attractions on Saturday included a visit by actor John Challis - Boycie in Only Fools and Horses - and a welcome exercise by the lifeboat volunteers of Lyme Regis and Exmouth with the coastguard helicopter from St Athan, South Wales.
John Challis officially launched the week in front of a large audience at the lifeboat station and then signed autographs, posed for selfies and sold dozens of copies of his autobiography as fans queued to meet him on Marine Parade.
A model boat exhibition and belly dancing were also on the agenda.
Sunday saw almost 100 take part in the seafront fun run and later the illuminated boats lit up Lyme Bay.
Monday's events included a defibrillator demonstration by local fire chief Virgil Turner followed by an exercise by firefighters from Lyme Regis and Charmouth who 'rescued' five 'people' trapped in the smoke-filled lifeboat station.
Among the retained firefighters was newly-qualified Rich Tilley, who is also a lifeboat volunteer.
Ken Lavery, chairman of the organisers, the Lyme Regis and Charmouth Supporters, said: "We had a great start to the week and now we are keeping everything crossed for the second half. As usual everyone has been very generous towards our life-saving charity and we are hoping for a successful result for our volunteers who have planned around 72 events to keep our visitors, residents and traders happy."
Among the events still to come are the Army's Red Devils parachute display team, due tomorrow (Thursday), and the bath tub race on Friday.
Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week regularly raises £35,000. Running an inshore lifeboat station like the one in Lyme Regis costs £95,000 annually, and the full kit for a crew member costs almost £2,000.