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Rhyl RNLI crew say farewell to former second Coxswain Gerald Hughes

Lifeboats News Release

For the second time in a month, the crew had the sad task of escorting a colleague on their final journey.

Funeral service 17/3/17.


Gerald Hughes 1930-2017 Rhyl

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.

  • Gerald very kindly bequeathed his lifeboat memorabilia to the lifeboat station at Rhyl. This will most likely be displayed in the proposed museum, that will form part of the building when it is extended as part of the development of the station, which will accommodate the forthcoming new Shannon-class All-weather lifeboat.

    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.

  • Coffin is transferred from the hearse to the Inshore lifeboat

    Kerry Roberts NWN Media

    Gerald Hughes funeral 17/3/17 Rhyl
    The cortege leaves the station

    Trinity Mirror/ Daily Post

    Gerald Hughes' Funeral 17/3/17 Rhyl
    Cortege going to church

    Trinity Mirror / Daily Post

    Gerald Hughes' funeral 17/3/17 Rhyl
    Cortege arrives at the church

    Trinity Mirror / Daily Post

    Gerald Hughes' funeral 17/3/17 Rhyl
    Some of Gerald's certificates from his 60 years' service

    RNLI/Paul Frost

    Gerald Hughes' Funeral 17/3/17 Rhyl

    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.

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