Selsey RNLI's Lifeboat Week ended on a high note when the weather held fair for launch day. The various events that had taken place during the preceding week were very well supported by the public and record amounts collected including the amazing total of £2,116.74 on Friday evening at the tug-o-war and fireworks display.
As usual the central focus of Launch Day was Lifeboat Green with its many stalls and fair with crowds of visitors enjoying all that was on offer. TS Sturdy once again visited to play us their music and to collect money in buckets. The day’s events kicked off at 1pm when the annual Raft Race took place with 17 teams taking part. The winners were the Selsey Lifeboat Crew, followed by Selsey Firemen and OCEANair. The best dressed raft and crew was won by ‘Piece of Cake’, followed by the Hogwat-er Express and Chichester Canoe Club.
The Balloon Race was completed in three parts because of the windy conditions and at one stage there were 15 people involved with the operation! This event alone raised £1547.10! The winning ticket number belonged to a local man and, amazingly, the balloon travelled to Trier in Germany.
Mickey Pitts, Seal Island Gun Club, presented Sue Lintott, Deputy Fund Raising Chairman, with a cheque for £1061.61 raised at the RNLI Selsey Charity clay Pigeon shoot the previous Sunday.
At 2pm there was an aerobatic display by the Chang Gang followed by a slow sail past of the various lifeboats in attendance: Bembridge RNLI's new Tamar Class Alfred Albert Williams, Littlehampton’s Atlantic 75 Blue Peter 1 and Hayling Island’s Atlantic 85 Derrick Battle, as well as Selsey’s own lifeboats: Voluntary Worker and Betty and Thomas Moore. The Fisheries Protection Vessel, Watchful, also took part. After the sail past various lifesaving demonstrations were given by the lifeboats and their volunteer crews.
Solent Coastguard’s helicopter Rescue 104 arrived at 3pm and gave a demonstration of its capabilities, including winching casualties in conjunction with the various lifeboats present.
The afternoon’s main events were concluded with a slow and then fast sail past of all the lifeboats and Watchful much to the delight of those on the lower beach.
The Lifeboat cake raffle was drawn and was actually won by the lady who made it! She very kindly put her ticket back into the draw and it was then won by Brenda Fisher who donated it to Marjorie Cobby Care Centre (Please click here for details). The cake raffle raised over £800 thanks to the kind donation by Trevor Jones, Instant Mailing Services Ltd., who matched the funds raised.
One very touching but unrelated event that took place on the day was a proposal of marriage (which was accepted) on board the Selsey Lifeboat Voluntary Worker by a soldier just about to head off to Afghanistan to his girlfriend!
Thank you everyone for coming along and taking part and for the very generous donations received on behalf of the RNLI. The lucky programme number is 0879 – will the winner please call in at the Lifeboat Shop or call them on (01243) 604936.