A rare sight of four RNLI lifeboats on exercise off Rhyl
Rhyl's inshore and all-weather Mersey Lifeboat, together with Llandudno's Mersey and Hoylake's Shannon class lifeboats, took part in a joint exercise off Rhyl lifeboat station.
The occasion was also to honour our well-known former second Coxswain Gerald Hughes, who passed away last month aged 87. Gerald was friends with many crew on Llandudno and Hoylake lifeboats, so the crews were glad to get together to honour our shipmate and local fisherman Gerald, and so a joint exercise was worked on, so that the crews could be on site when Gerald's ashes were scattered. All the lifeboats met off Rhyl boathouse, and, led by Rhyl's inshore lifeboat, entered Rhyl harbour. The harbourmaster raised the Ddraig Goch footbridge to acknowledge the convoy, as all the boats went under the bridge into the inner harbour; around the bridge; and out via the outer pontoons. The procession was then joined by family on board charter fishing vessel "Suveran", skippered by Simon Parry, and other vessels from Rhyl harbour. The vessels proceeded again to just off the boathouse, where Gerald's ashes were scattered by former coxswain and good Friend Bruce Herbert from the bow of Rhyl Lifeboat. A floral wreath was also placed overboard as the lifeboat sounded it's klaxon one last time for Gerald.
Once the ceremony, taken by Revd. Stan Walker, was over, the lifeboats then carried on with their exercise for a short time, and then all returned to their respective stations.
Coxswain Martin Jones says " It just shows what great respect Gerald had in the community, for all these people to be here to pay their respects. We are all grateful that Llandudno and Hoylake crews gave their support to a colleague"
Gerald was a great collector of all things relating to the Rhyl lifeboat and Rhyl harbour, and it is envisaged that in the future, his collection will be on show to the general public.
The crew would also like to give their thanks to members of the Lifeboat Enthusiasts society, and also Darrell Fletcher for his sympathetic drone coverage of the event. Pictures reproduced here are copyright Darrel for aerial shots, also Dave James for others. remaining photos are credit Rhyl RNLI/Paul Frost. It is hoped the video that Darrell took from the air will be edited and uploaded by next week.
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, Carrybridge 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland