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 RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.