Weston-super-Mare RNLI volunteers are organising a Raft Race for all comers on Saturday and an Open Day to demonstrate their work of saving lives at sea on Sunday next week end, the 2nd and 3rd August.
Each year Weston RNLI organises a Raft Race on the Marine Lake on Weston sea front. Local cadet units usually enter the junior race where there tends to be fierce rivalry.
All are invited to take part and several local organisations, car distributors, supermarkets and others, like to get their staff to enter. Constructing a raft is a good team building exercise and great fun! Also many of the local pubs build a raft of varying skills. In their case the main aim is either to beat the RNLI crew raft in the race or to destroy it afterwards! Rafts must be registered by 1 pm and the racing starts at 2pm
Weston RNLI crew volunteers always enter at least one raft. In most years they manage to win the main race. Last year they only came second so are out for revenge. They also know that in the free for all after the main race they will be the main target of all the other rafts.
The rafts pay a small entry fee but this is not a major fund raising event. That happens on the Sunday when the combined crew and fundraisers hold an Open Day. This year, because of the temporary station being on the promenade the Open day will be split between the station and the Lifeboat shop at Anchor head.
At sea the three lifeboats will carry out exercises so the public can see them from Anchor Head. The first exercise is at 1100 and the second at 1300. As well are showing how they deal with casualties at sea they will be working with the black Police boat from Portishead.
Also present will be the local Coastguard showing how they deal with cliff and mud rescues and an emergency ambulance to demonstrate life saving techniques. At the station at Knightstone various of the crew will be there to show what they do and what they wear and how they deal with emergencies. At Anchor Head the shop will be open selling souvenirs and there will be a tombola, face painting and a cake stall. All will be accompanied by a commentary by one of the crew.
Charlotte Conroy, Lifeboat Operations Manager of Weston-super-Mare said; ‘we always enjoy showing what we do to the public. Without their generosity we would not be able to do the work we do. Every launch of our lifeboats, to save a life, starts with the coins someone puts into the collection buckets.