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Rhyl RNLI lifeboat crew are saddened at the passing of former crew member.

Lifeboats News Release

It is with deep sadness that the Rhyl crew wish to announce that former crew member John Povah, died today (26 June).

On a post on their Facebook page, the crew, led by former Coxswain and now Deputy Launching Authority Peter Robinson (and a great long-time personal friend of John), said,
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing today of John Povah. It is almost impossible to think of being at Rhyl harbour and not bumping into John wearing one of his many hats. Fisherman, diver, lifeboat man, coast guard afloat, historian, story teller, film director, seamanship instructor and if you were doing anything with his beloved harbour he was the technical advisor whether you required it or not! He was known and loved by a huge number of people and will leave a huge gap in our lives. One of Rhyl's, life's true characters. Our JP".

John followed his father George (then 2nd mechanic at Rhyl), into the lifeboat crew, and was a participant in many rescues when he was not at sea himself. John took it upon himself to promote and nurture the charter fishing boat trade from Rhyl harbour, working mostly from the now-gone Marina Service station. He was an inspiration to many young men, putting them on the first rung of a maritime career, or to follow into the lifeboat crew. Many of the older existing crew members owe some or all of their expertise to John, when he took them on as crew on his many fishing vessels, including "Wendy Sue 1 and 2", and "Rose".
John was an excellent diver and regularly undertook trips with Rhyl diving club, which included a young Peter Robinson, destined to become Coxswain of Rhyl Lifeboat. He was also a great friend to a previous Coxswain Bruce Herbert BEM. He was a member of Rhyl fishermen's Association and the Yacht Club.
Later in life, when John was unable to continue his sea-going exploits, he became a forceful and vociferous part of the Rhyl Harbour Forum, who were influential in making Rhyl harbour the attractive and commercial centre of West Rhyl. John was very proud of his local area, especially the harbour, and he could be seen beaming with pride when people met him by the Pont-Y-Ddraig lifting bridge, where he would "trap" them for hours talking of his memories and indeed his hopes for a greater Rhyl.

Martin Jones, Rhyl RNLI lifeboat Coxswain says "Rhyl harbour and seafront will be that much poorer for the passing of a true Rhyl character".


The photographs showing RNLI lifeboat "Anthony Robert Marshall" are credit RNLI Rhyl, and the others are credit Jan Robinson, Rhyl. The last photograph shows John (in blue jumper, centre) presenting the inaugural "John Povah Cup" to the Rhyl Yacht Club team members who won the 2015 Rhyl harbour RNLI raft race.

John will be sorely missed, not only in the local area, but amongst the many friends he made on his travels throughout the UK and beyond. R.I.P.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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