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Tributes To Holyhead DLA and Former Crewman

Lifeboats News Release

A much loved and highly respected member of Holyhead RNLI crew, Iwan Williams – who had been with Holyhead RNLI since 1985 – has passed away, following a period of illness.


Iwan Williams, former crewman and DLA with Holyhead RNLI
Iwan started with the RNLI in February 1985, and served as both ILB and ALB crew - and became the senior helm of the inshore lifeboat at the approximate age of 18 – a very young age.

During his service, he served on the Tyne Class, Arun Class, Trent Class, and the Severn Class all-weather lifeboats. He was part of the team that developed the operations at the station after the move from a slipway lifeboat station to an afloat lifeboat station in 1997.

Iwan had, under his command of ILB’s, the Caribbean 1, D-358, Spirit of Bedworth and Nuneaton, and the Angel of Holyhead.

During his period of service, Iwan gained recognition in having an operations commendation letter and a Chief Executive’s commendation letter, both for outstanding achievements and bravery.

He took a break from his sea-going activities between 2011 and 2016, when he became the head caretaker of Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi / Holyhead Secondary School, a role which he held for 37 years - but he managed to fit in time for the station, always staying in touch and assisting with events.

In 2016, Iwan became a Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) for the station - liaising with HM Coastguard when a launch request was made - which was a great asset to the station due to his vast experience and knowledge.

In 2022 he received his 30-year bar for long service for the RNLI.

Present crew members described Iwan as ‘a true gent’ ‘a dedicated lifeboatman’, ‘a man who took others under his wing and taught so much’; and said he had ‘boundless skill and knowledge, that he shared freely.'

Holyhead coxswain Tony, who knew and served with Iwan for many years, said:

‘Iwan will be sadly missed by all who knew him at the station. He was steady and strong - and for all his years, he gave over 100% to saving lives and helping others around our coastline.’

Holyhead Lifeboat Station's flag is flying at half mast as a mark of respect. RIP Iwan. Fair winds and following seas.


Iwan Williams on duty during a dog rescue for Holyhead RNLI


Iwan Williams, far right, on duty as ILB Senior Helm

RNLI/Vicki Owens

Iwan, fourth from the right, with crewmates from Holyhead RNLI

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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 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.

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