Thousands of people flocked to Selsey over the weekend for the climax of Lifeboat Week.
The annual tug-of-war competition took place for Sports Night on Friday before the awe-inspiring fireworks display lit the sky above the Lifeboat Green, next to the lifeboat station at Kingsway.
More than 4,000 people attended the Launch Day on Sunday, where Selsey lifeboats and the Solent Coastguard helicopter demonstrated their capabilities by carrying out a pretend rescue.
It was an extra special occasion this year as the lifeboat station is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
Spokesman for the lifeboat station Roger Browell said: “The tug-of-war for the Observer Challenge Cup was won by Pontins Pullers – there were eight entries in all.
“The fireworks display by the Selstar team was fantastic with a great crowd watching. The beach collection raised the grand sum of £2116.74.”
He added: “Thank you everyone for coming along and taking part.”
As usual the central focus of launch day on Sunday was the lifeboat green with its many stalls and fair with crowds of visitors enjoying all that was on offer.
The day’s events kicked off at 1pm with the annual raft race which saw 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 Hogwarter Express and Chichester Canoe Club.
At 2pm there was an aerobatic display by the Chang Gang followed by a slow sail past of the various lifeboats in attendance: Bembridge RNLIs 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-bpast, various life-saving 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.
The lucky programme number is 0879 – the winner should call 01243 604936.
n See page 10 for a focus on Selsey