CROWDS are expected to flock to Dunbar Harbour tomorrow (Saturday) for the town’s annual lifeboat fete.

The event proves a real crowd favourite each year, with a number of stalls, live music and entertainment on offer until 6pm.

Centre of the afternoon’s activities will be a joint rescue exercise featuring the town’s two RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter from HMS Gannet at Prestwick, service calls permitting.

The helicopter and Dunbar all-weather lifeboat, the John Neville Taylor, will give a demonstration of casualty transfer between sea and air in front of the harbour and going through other training drills.

Veronica Davies, Dunbar RNLI fundraising convener, was looking forward to the big day and said: “Lifeboat day is the day that the whole Dunbar community and wider East Lothian population come together to support the simple aim of saving lives at sea along our stretch of coast.

“Each year I am staggered at the effort people put into lifeboat day, which is our single most important day of the year as far as fundraising is concerned.

“Over the course of the afternoon there is a whole host of stalls to buy the very best of local produce from and also a wide selection of trade stands.

“Music and bars, barbecues and children’s entertainments all add up to a great family day out.” Proceedings begin at 1.15pm with a parade through the town led by Dunbar Royal British Legion Pipes and Drums.

Fifteen-year-old Ashley Fairbairn, this year’s Lifeboat Queen, will be carried to her coronation in a vintage car at the head of the parade, followed by the station’s D Class inshore lifeboat ‘Jimmy Miff’.

Dunbar has been home to a lifeboat for more than 200 years and in that time has seen remarkable dedication of crews and other volunteers needed to keep the station running.

Mark Lees, station chairman, said: “The RNLI is a vital charity that runs a number of services nationally and here at Dunbar provides much-needed protection for seafarers of all descriptions.

“I think it is the voluntary nature of the crews that really impresses me and other RNLI supporters – a charity that relies on people prepared to drop everything at a moment’s notice and put their lives on the line in the service of others.

“Lifeboat day is a great way of supporting this vital service and having a wonderful afternoon at the seaside.

“As ever, our only concern is the weather – but we deserve a decent spell now, so here’s fingers crossed for Saturday.”