Anstruther RNLI say thank you and goodbye to their longest serving crew member

Lifeboats News Release

July 1986. Ronald Regan is midway through his presidency of the USA, Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova secure Wimbledon titles and Billy Ocean is holding Madonna off the UK number one spot. 23 year old Gary Hughes makes his way to Anstruther lifeboat station to give his first voluntary service.

Gary Hughes who volunteered at Anstruther RNLI for 32 years from July 1986 - July 2018

RNLI/Martin Macnamara

Gary Hughes posing at Anstruther Lifeboat Open Day back in May.

A very special member of the Anstruther lifeboat family was remembered at a service this morning after amassing 32 years’ service to the RNLI. In a packed Cellardyke Church in front of family, friends and lifeboat crew members past and present, Gary Hughes was laid to rest.

Representatives from the RNLI Regional Base in Perth joined crew members from neighbouring Kinghorn, Queensferry and Dunbar in paying their respects to Gary.

Serving as part of the launch and recover shore team, Gary launched The Doctors from 1986 – 1991 before the arrival of his beloved Kingdom of Fife which serves the shores on the Firth of Forth.

With over 700 launches in Gary’s 32 years’ service, memories of the important role Gary played in getting the lifeboat to the sea safely was remember with fond stories shared.

In a fitting tribute to a special man, Anstruther Lifeboat Operations Manager Roy Giles reflected on Gary’s character around the station. ‘His uncanny knack of knowing when we would get our next shout could not be called into question – after all, he said it every day!’

With a fluctuating tidal system in Anstruther harbour, Gary played a key part in passing on his knowledge to new recruits. Gary took charge of the station amenities and had real pride in what did. He spent many hours polishing the propeller to ensure the Kingdom of Fife looked at her gleaming bests to visitors of the station.

His pride and dedication to the RNLI never went unnoticed.

Gary will be fondly remembered for welcoming crews back ashore with a smile warmer than the teas and coffees he stood waiting with.

Until next time Gaz, ‘We’ll keep’

RNLI/Martin Macnamara

A familiar smile. Gary Hughes at the naming ceremony of Anstruther Lifeboat D class back in 2017

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.

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