SPECTACULAR soaring displays by the Red Arrows will be just one highlight of the much-loved Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week.

Organisers, the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild, are determined to make this year’s programme bigger, brighter and better than ever before.

This year marks the 41st year of Lifeboat Week with something for everyone, from the gripping excitement of mouse racing to the spectacular displays of the RAF’s Red Arrows and the Falcons parachute team.

Lifeboat Week will kick off on July 19 and run until July 26.

Lyme Regis RNLI press officer, Richard Horobin, said: “A highlight of the first day will be a welcome display by the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat which it’s hoped will be joined by the latest lifeboat to join the RNLI fleet, the Shannon class vessel from nearby Exmouth. Both lifeboats will be joined by the coastguard helicopter from Portland for a rescue exercise.

“The popular bath tub race is a feature of Sunday and the Falcons will be dropping in later that day.

Before the parachutists arrive the lifeboat crew will be cooking up a barbecue on the harbour slipway.”

There’s also plenty for the family on Monday, including the popular crab fishing contest for children.

Among Tuesday’s events is the teddy bear’s picnic and Wednesday is another packed day including the swimming challenges for adults and children.

On Thursday the Red Arrows will arrive in the town at about 6pm.

Friday’s programme includes the grand duck race and ends with a fireworks display.

The final day will include the tug o’ war between the lifeboat crew and the coastguards.

This will take place across the harbour entrance.

This year’s Lifeboat Week will also mark a special occasion for the retiring chairman of the lifeboat guild, Rob Michael, as it will be his last.

He said: “I have been involved for nine years, and it has been hard work but great fun and very worthwhile for the lifeboat charity.

“But none of the success of this great event would have been possible without the hard work of past and present guild members and past and present lifeboat crew members.”

Last year’s Lifeboat Week raised more than £30,000 for the RNLI charity.

The first Lifeboat Week was held in 1973 and was organised by Richard Fox, who was then landlord of The Cobb Arms, and later town crier, and his colleague David Duncombe-Anderson.

The 48-page Lifeboat Week programme, with full information and timings of all events is now available at the lifeboat shop at the harbour and throughout Lyme Regis and Charmouth.