Rhyl RNLI crew say Goodbye to fellow crew member Ben Hirst
The charity's volunteers helped to provide a fitting farewell at Ben's funeral.
Ben's coffin was put on the inshore lifeboat and the crew escorted him through the streets of the town from the chapel of rest, past his home, and stopping at the lifeboat station for a minute's silence. The cortege then proceeded to St. Thomas' church for the service, where the crew bore him in and out of the church. There were many hundreds of mourners in the church, to listen to many testimonials about Ben in a moving service, proving testament to Ben's popularity.
The final journey was to the St.Asaph crematorium, where the crew again bore him into the chapel. Again, moving testimonials from his immediate family showed Ben's humour and compassion in life.
The pictures, courtesy of the Daily Post and Rhyl Journal, show the cortege passing through the streets of Rhyl, and also at the lifeboat station. Representatives of Flint RNLI and local UK coastguard teams were present, as was his extended family and friends from near and far.
Martin Jones, Rhyl RNLI Coxswain said ' Although Ben had only been with the RNLI for a few years, he immediately endeared himself to the crew. He was a valued crew member, and we will miss the Big Man and his mischievous sense of humour. Farewell Ben, fair winds and following seas'.
The funeral was overseen by Tong's Funeral services, and the crew would like to thank them and North Wales Police, for their assistance and guidance as the cortege went through the town.
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.