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Pwllheli RNLI newest helm continues century-old family tradition

Lifeboats News Release

Dave Williams continued a family tradition stretching back over hundred years when he joined Pwllheli RNLI as volunteer lifeboat crew in 2017. Just six years later he has passed out as a D-class helm on the inshore lifeboat.

Dave Williams in his D-Class inshore lifeboat kit standing in front of the inshore lifeboat and tractor at night

RNLI/Elizabeth Denholm

Dave Williams has passed out as a D-class helm
Dave said: ‘I used to look out of the window at work and see the lifeboat going out on a shout or an exercise and I would think "I’d love to do that" not knowing my family had been RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew.'

Dave’s family links with the charity which saves lives at sea stretches back to Pwllheli’s very first lifeboat.

‘My great-great-great-grandfather, Ellis Wright, was made 2nd coxswain in 1891 and served for 14 years,’ explained Dave. 'His son, Evan Wright became 2nd coxswain when Ellis retired and was promoted to coxswain around 1912 serving until 1937. Evan featured on the front cover of the RNLI Lifeboat magazine in June 1936. He was on my grandmother’s side of the family,’

The family’s dedication to the RNLI doesn’t end there. There were key crew members on Dave’s grandfather’s side as well, with his great-great-grandfather, Thomas Green, serving as bowman alongside Evan. He also retired in 1937 but his grandson, Brian, passed out as coxswain a few years later.

‘Another family member, Richard Wright, was shore crew while Coxswain Bob Wright was a third cousin,' Dave said. 'And, it wasn’t until I applied to join that I found out my father was also an RNLI volunteer in the 90s and was a D-class helm too. It was a real surprise because he had never talked about it!’

Dave’s journey to passing out as D-class helm on the inshore lifeboat started a year and half ago, soon after the arrival of the Shannon lifeboat at the new lifeboat station in Pwllheli.

Dave said: ‘The Fleet Staff Coxswain asked me if I wanted to be a D-class helm. I had always liked the idea of being in more of a command role and giving myself something to work towards so I said ‘yes’.

‘The hardest part was learning to command the crew, especially telling more experienced helms on the boat what to do. But now I’m looking forward to my first shout.

Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Andy Vowell, said: 'Dave is a valued member of the team here at Pwllheli, and we are all thrilled he has completed all his training and passed out as a helm on our inshore lifeboat.
'His accomplishment is down to a lot of hard work on his part with the assistance of the team here at Pwllheli. Llongyfarchiadau Dave.'



RNLI media contact

For more information contact Elizabeth Denholm, Pwllheli RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07806 800627 or email [email protected]. Alternatively contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected].

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.


A black and white photograph of an unsmiling man in a old-fashioned lifeboat kit including a sou'wester

RNLI

Dave's great-great-grandfather Coxswain Evan Wright
Dave floating in the sea next to an upturned inshore lifeboat

RNLI/Gavin Jones

Dave Williams training on the D-class inshore lifeboat
A photo of the cover of an old Lifeboat magazine with a black and white photograph of an unsmiling man in old-fashioned lifeboat crew kit.

RNLI

Dave's great-great-grandfather, Evan Wright on the cover of the June 1936 issue of the Lifeboat magazine

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.