Rhyl RNLI lifeboat crew mourn loss of second colleague this month.
For the second time this February, the crew wish to announce the passing of a well-loved and respected ex-crew member.
Gerald Hughes (86) was found at his home on Sunday 26 February 2017. Gerald had been associated with the lifeboats since he was a boy, only leaving his loved home town for his National Service time. He lived alone but was part of the local fishing scene in Rhyl harbour. Flags at the station and at the lifeboat memorial on the promenade were flown at half-mast.
He regularly attended the station in the morning to meet his fellow crew and colleagues, until ill health prevented him getting down there. He still came down on a Sunday morning when he was picked up by former Coxswain Peter Robinson. Gerald had been crew, Bowman and Second Coxswain in his time with the RNLI, which spanned nearly 60 years. He took a great interest in the station and it's crew, having been probably the last crewman on station to have sailed in a pulling and sailing lifeboat - no engine and only oars for power. He was a rich fount of knowledge about Rhyl, it's harbour, and the fishing trade. Gerald had been a fisherman with his boat and long nets, fishing for salmon and sea trout off the shore, and also netting for shrimps and prawns by a push-net or by tractor and trailer. Gerald had built up a vast store of photographs and memorabilia about Rhyl lifeboat station, and he could always be seen with his pencil and notebook, either referring to past events or jotting something new down.
Further details should be available about Gerald's funeral soon, and the crew wish to give him the same reverence and honour that they recently gave to Ray Coltman.
The attached pictures show Gerald as he will be remembered, with his flat cap and coat; and also on a Flag day in the 1960's with relief Liverpool-class lifeboat ;"RNLB Lucy Lavers". Gerald is in the foreground, wearing the white hat, and was acting-Coxswain at the time.
Martin Jones, Rhyl Coxswain says ' This is a great shock to the Rhyl lifeboat family, coming so soon after we said goodbye to another ex-crew member Ray Coltman. Gerald will be missed by all in the local sea-going community'
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.