A unique tradition for the RNLI lifeboat crew in Lyme Regis will be returning this year.

To celebrate Lyme Regis Lifeboat Week, running from Saturday, July 27 to Friday, August 2, the RNLI will be reintroducing a unique west Dorset tradition - conger cuddling.  

The event was introduced in 1974 by organiser the late Richard Fox – a Lyme Regis tradition which saw a dead conger eel thrown at members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

It was cancelled as an official RNLI event in 2006 after animal rights activists threatened a campaign against it.

The new event will not involve a frozen six-foot conger eel and instead will be a form of human skittles.

Two teams will attempt to knock each other off a block by swinging the new prop ‘eel,’ made from old lifeboat crew dry suits that have been decommissioned from service.

The team with the most competitors still standing at the end is the winner.

Brian Street, organiser of both events lifeboat crew member said: “As it is the RNLI’s 200th anniversary we are aiming to get 200 people to do the conga dance in an effort to raise £1,824 the figure that coincides with the year the RNLI was founded.

“We will ask each participant to get sponsors in an effort to raise that total. The end of the dance will trigger the start of our much-missed conger cuddling event.“

There will also be a conga dance before the conger cuddling around the Cobb and along Marine Parade.

It will start at 3.30pm on July 27, the first day of lifeboat week, followed by conger cuddling on the harbour slipway at precisely 6.24pm.

You can book a place in the conga dance at the lifeboat shop next to the lifeboat station.