WEYMOUTH Lifeboat Week is now in full swing as the rescue services hosts its annual fundraising drive to raise money for the lifesaving charity.

The local branch of the RNLI is hosting demonstrations, open days and charity events to raise money for the RNLI.

The week of packed events kicked off on Sunday, when the crew, the Weymouth Inshore Lifeboat and the All Weather Lifeboat and took part in the annual blessing of the boats ceremony, and on Monday evening there was a live demonstration of what the RNLI does to keep people safe in the sea.

Hundreds of people packed into the Nothe Gardens to watch the demonstrations, with crew members showing how they work with the Coastguards and lifeguards in rescuing people from the sea, with the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter also taking part in the display.

There was also a barbecue and entertainment to keep the crowds entertained after the demonstration, with a charity raffle and a tug of war.

There will be another demonstration tonight at Bowleaze Cove.

Ken Francis, a volunteer at the Weymouth branch of the RNLI, said: “The demonstration is a scenario that happens days in, day out up and down the country and shows how the RNLI work with the other rescue services in a real life situation.

“It was a rare opportunity for the public to actually see what happens around them when there is an emergency.”

On Thursday night, Weymouth Sailing Club will hold a charity barbecue and bar next door to the lifeboat station from 6pm onwards, and on Saturday, the lifeboat station will open its doors to the public from 10.30am until 6pm, allowing people to have a tour of the lifeboat and meet the crews.

Mr Francis said the reaction from members of the public to the week had been positive.

He added: “This is our main fundraising initiative during the year, the whole week is geared towards raising money and showing the public what we do.

“We are dedicated to saving lives at sea, but we are a charity and we do need to raise money to keep going.

“The reaction has been and always is very positive, and hopefully we will raise a lot of money during the week.”