Rhyl RNLI crew say farewell to former second Coxswain Gerald Hughes
For the second time in a month, the crew had the sad task of escorting a colleague on their final journey.
Gerald Hughes, aged 87, was carried on the inshore lifeboat from the lifeboat station to St. Thomas' church on Friday 17 March 2017. Gerald had been associated with the station for nearly 60 years, and would attend the boathouse every day when he could.
The crew walked alongside the coffin, carried on the inshore lifeboat, as it made it's way to the church, where Gerald was borne into the church on the shoulders of six past and present crew, including former Coxswains Bruce Herbert and Peter Robinson, and present Coxswain Martin Jones.
During the service, eulogies were said by Gerald's family member David Hughes, and Peter Robinson. The service was conducted by Revd. Andy Grimwood.
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 its 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, its 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.He 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.
Martin Jones, Rhyl coxswain said "Gerald will be sorely missed at Rhyl. His mug, cap and stick will be displayed in a prominent place in the boathouse as a fitting memorial to his memory"
The attached photos are by the Daily Post, Rhyl Journal, and Paul Frost RNLI. Published with grateful thanks.
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, in a normal year, 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.