Selsey Lifeboat Station - Station News

Selsey Lifeboat Week 2017 Raises £17,148.29

(All photos and more on our Facebook page - please click here)

There has been a lifeboat station in Selsey for over 150 years, and although there have been many changes to the Institution, the boats and the kit and equipment the crews use, the one thing that has not changed in all that time is the need to raise funds to support the volunteer crewmen and women to continue their invaluable work saving lives at sea.

As a charity, the RNLI relies on voluntary contributions, donations, and fundraising events such as Selsey Lifeboat Week to ensure that no call for help goes unanswered. Selsey is fortunately able to attract businesses and organisations prepared to support Lifeboat Week, from sponsoring competitions to providing raffle prizes; as outlets for selling the lifeboat week programmes or simply displaying posters advertising forthcoming events. A massive 'Thank you' to all who contribute in whatever way to making Lifeboat Week a success.

Kicking off this year's activities was a Fun Family Beach Fishing competition at East Beach which again attracted many entrants of all ages. This was a sponsored event and trophies and prizes were awarded to both junior and adult winners of various categories.

The fishing competition was followed a week later by an open day at Selsey Coastguard Station. The Selsey RNLI and Coastguard service work closely together to keep the seas and shores around the Manhood Peninsula safe for sailors and swimmers alike. If you were amongst those who attended the Open Day you will no doubt have been treated to an enthralling account of the responsibilities of the Coastquard service and have a better understanding of the vital work they do to protect our local sea and coastal areas.

On Sunday 30th July a very well attended Service of Praise and Thanksgiving led by The Rev. Andy Wilkes, Chaplain to RNLI Selsey Lifeboat and Rector of St. Peter's Church was held on the green, and on Monday the new Lifeboat Station and its Shannon Class All-Weather Lifeboat, 'Denise and Eric', together with the D-Class inflatable Inshore Lifeboat, 'Betty and Thomas Moore', took centre stage as more than 500 people took advantage of the station's open evening to tour the building and get an up close view of the facilities that the Station offers the volunteer crews as well as the boats and the magnificent Supacat SC-12 which launches and recovers the AWB.

The dry weather on Tuesday evening encouraged a large turnout for the Walking Treasure Hunt, with 34 teams comprising 120 assorted adults, children and dogs spending a pleasant couple of hours walking the streets of Selsey seeking answers to the clues set. It is surprising how much you can learn about your local area when you simply slow down and look around you, from interesting and unusual house names to external decorations and garden ornaments, and maybe even a few streets and alleyways that you hadn't known were there. Steve and Linda from Mulberry Divers who organised this event, said they were very pleased to see many family groups participating this year. A great testament to the inter-generational and community appeal of Lifeboat Week.

Brain power was also being tested on Wednesday evening with a Quiz Night at The Seal public house. Once more their regular quiz-master Malcolm presided over the attempts of teams of quizzers to correctly answer questions on subjects ranging from literature to science; history to space travel; music to dingbats, and just about every other subject you can think of! Although competition was stiff amongst the 26 teams, there was much friendly rivalry in the bar and restaurant which were both packed almost to capacity. The winning team was 'Out of Tune' and they along with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams graciously donated their winnings back to the RNLI.

On Thursday, Selsey was in the grip of a betting frenzy and the 'old grey matter' could rest for an evening. Race Night, held at The Royal British Legion, is always a popular event during Lifeboat Week and this year was no exception. At just £1 a bet, and with 50% of the stake money being paid out in prizes there can be no doubt at all that there was a great deal of vicarious pleasure to be had from watching the races on the big screen and cheering on your favoured horse and jockey. This is an excellent way to enjoy a flutter without having to know anything about breeding or study form. You just pick a number or choose a name you like and away you go. An exciting evening enjoyed by everyone.

Next on the agenda was Friday’s Sports Night, held once more on Lifeboat Green. As usual the Fun Dog Show attracted a large contingent of pets of different breeds and their owners, all hoping to impress the judges and walk away with prizes of doggy treats and colourful rosettes. With six different classes, there was fierce competition for Best in Show which was eventually awarded to Prettiest Pooch winner Florence. Best puppy in show was Cooper.

For the first time, this year's event included a display by ARO Fitness Kick Boxing club alongside the Fun Dog Show and Tug of War. ARO classes are open to adults of any age, and children from 4 years old. The classes are not just about learning martial arts, but are also a great way to get fit, lose body fat and have fun! The youngsters performing their well-choreographed moves were certainly enjoying themselves and were a pleasure to watch.

The evening was rounded off by a fantastic Firework display put on by Selstar and sponsored by Shayler's Fun Fair.

Saturday meant a return to the need to exercise brain power as well as testing driver's observation and navigation skills with the Car Treasure Hunt. Teams were tested by cryptic clues to house, business, and road names as well as their ability to follow directions so as not to get lost down some of Sussex's less well-travelled roads. This year's route took competitors off the Manhood Peninsula through and round Sidlesham, Dell Quay, Fishbourne, Woodmancote and Southbourne before guiding them safely back to Selsey for some well-earned refreshment at The Lifeboat Inn while they waited for their papers to be marked. As with the walking treasure hunt earlier in the week, many participants came across places they had not been aware of before and expressed their intention to re-visit some of the places they had seen to learn more about the area.

This year's Lifeboat Day, Sunday 6th August - the climax of the week's activities - returned to its traditional home of Lifeboat Green after having to vacate it in favour of Selsey Recreation Ground last year whilst the new Lifeboat Station was under construction. Now that the station is complete and the new Shannon Class AWB is operational, it was again possible to hold the always hotly contested Raft Race and for our Lifeboat crews to put on another exciting demonstration of some typical launch and rescue activities they get called to. The two Selsey Lifeboats were ably assisted by the H.M. Coastguards Helicopter and a visiting lifeboat from Hayling Island.

Selsey was also treated to a static display by Hogs Back Harleys with over 40 beautiful, shiny motorbikes being gathered together in East Beach Carpark and another by Manhood Classic Car Club in the lower field of the green. If you didn't make it that far along the beach, make sure you put it on your list of things you must see at next year's Lifeboat Week!

In addition to the keynote demonstrations and activities, many local charity groups and organisations were present on the green showing their support for the RNLI as well as drawing attention to their own areas of interest on the peninsula.

So, another Lifeboat Week is over and all that remains to do is say a huge "thank you" to everyone who contributed in any way. Without our generous sponsors, the supporters of Selsey RNLI, the volunteers who help in so many ways, and of course the volunteer crews who all work together with the Selsey Lifeboat Association, and the fund-raising team, Lifeboat Week 2017 would have been be the success it was.

Results and answers for both the walking and driving treasure hunts can be found on and the facebook page Selsey RNLI Fundraisers, or, alternatively, you can e-mail Edy. And don't forget the souvenir shop and station house are open all year round from 10.30am to 4pm (subject to operational commitments).

(Top of page)