LYME Regis Lifeboat Week launched in style as hundreds of spectators flocked to the town to catch the first few days of the popular flagship event.

And there's still more fun to come with spectacular soaring displays from the RAF's Red Arrows at 6pm on Thursday July 24, as well as a whole host of events running until Saturday.

This year marks the 41st year of Lifeboat Week and organisers - the Lyme Regis and Charmouth RNLI Guild - have been determined to make this year's event bigger, brighter and better than ever before.

A welcome display by the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat on Saturday July 19 kicked off the week in style. The lifeboat was joined by the latest lifeboat to join the RNLI fleet, the Shannon class vessel from nearby Exmouth.

Lyme Regis RNLI press officer, Richard Horobin, said: “Both lifeboats were due to be joined by the coastguard helicopter from Portland for a rescue exercise, but the helicopter did not attend this year due to weather conditions.

“Sunday saw the popular bath tub race return to the town, with the winners crowned as the Lyme Regis Fire and Rescue Team.”

Displays from the Falcons parachute display team on Sunday evening saw crowds of people line the harbour and the iconic Cobb for a chance to catch the team in action.

Also, a BBQ on the slipway beforehand saw more than 400 hot dogs sold by the RNLI team with proceeds going to the lifesaving charity.

Today, Monday July 21, will provide plenty for the family with the popular crab fishing contest for children making a return, and among Tuesday's events is the teddy bear's picnic at 4pm.

Wednesday will mark another packed day including swimming challenges for adults and children.

RNLI lifeboat guild vice chair, Irene Roper, said Lifeboat Week has gone extremely well so far with organisers and volunteers working incredibly hard.

She will be taking over as chair of the RNLI guild from next week, July 28, from retiring chairman Rob Michael.

Irene added: “The weather has been wonderful so far which helps, and of course we are all looking forward to the Red Arrows on Thursday.

“The display by the Falcons parachute team was the greatest display they have ever done in my opinion and has definitely been a highlight of the week so far.

“From the display team event alone we have raised £637 in total, but people have been so generous donating so a massive thanks to them.

“We've also had a lovely produce stall with both businesses and volunteers donating items - the whole Lyme community has been rallying together.

“Throwing sponges at the RNLI crew - a new event this year - has proved a great success and is likely to become a regular event.

“There's still very much going on so please do come on down and enjoy the events in Lyme.

“While the event is raising money, it's also very important that we raise awareness of what the RNLI do because we couldn't function without them.”

On Thursday, the RAF's Red Arrows will return to the town from 6pm with a range of aerial displays.

Friday's programme includes the ever popular grand duck race and a firework display will light up the sky in the evening.

The final day on Saturday July 26 will include the tug o' war between the lifeboat crew and the coastguards, which will take place across the harbour entrance.

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

Double celebrations in order

LIFEBOAT Week also marked a very special occasion for two dedicated RNLI fundraisers.

Gilbert and Brenda Tancock, of Lyme Regis, have been collecting for various charities for more than 30 years, including 35 years for the RNLI.

On Sunday July 20, they collected £185 in their buckets for the lifeboat charity, but on the same day Gilbert and Brenda celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

The Lifeboat Guild arranged a presentation for them during the Songs of Praise service on the Marine Parade.

Gilbert, 84, and Brenda, 83, said they were delighted to have their anniversary marked at the service.

Their work for others less fortunate does not end with collections; over many years they have fostered at least 500 children.

A week to remember

FOR one Woodroffe school student this year's Lifeboat Week will be one to remember.

Phoebe Rowe, 14, went to sea for the first time in the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat on Sunday as part of her Duke of Edinburgh bronze award for voluntary work.

She had the double delight of going to sea with her uncle, Jon Broome, a member of the lifeboat crew.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Phoebe said: “It was a terrific experience and has made me even keener to join the crew.”

She is keen to become a full crew member and has been studying knots, chart work and carrying out other shore duties as part of her project.

RNLI press officer Richard Horobin said: “Her experience should stand her in good stead for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Phoebe was aboard the lifeboat when it was called to assist a broken down boat during the bath tub race.”