DONAGHADEE’S Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat will be open to the public on Saturday August 16 between 1.00pm and 3.00pm.
The £2 million Trent class vessel has been called out 19 times this year rescuing fishermen, yachtsmen and holidaymakers. Its six-strong crew are all local volunteers who give of their time to save lives at sea.
The open day is a rare opportunity for the public to look over a modern hi-tech lifeboat which is designed to cope with the worst Atlantic storms, has a range of 250 miles and can reach a top speed of 25 knots.
The annual raft race, in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, will begin at 4.30pm. Pubs and clubs have entered but favourites this year must be the rafters from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service – the fire service team is keen to reclaim the title after losing to the lifeboat volunteers last year.
Entry forms can be obtained at www.donaghadeelifeboat.co.uk
The events, part of the town’s annual festival fortnight, were rescheduled after storms put safety at risk on August 2. Local business Maxol Hightrees is the sponsor for this year’s raft race and has donated £750 to the RNLI to support the event.
RNLI fundraising chair Evelyn Bennett said: “We would like to thank Ards Tourism Fund, Ards Community Festival Fund and Maxol Hightrees for their support and the many people who gave of their time to help with this year’s events. More than 5,000 people visited the Festival in 2013 and we hope Saturday’s events will encourage even more to come to the town for a fun day out in support of the charity that saves lives at sea.”