THE FUNERAL of a “well-loved” and “respected” former lifeboat crew member will take place tomorrow.
Gerald Hughes died at his home aged 86 last month. Mr Hughes had served as crew, Bowman and Second Coxswain with Rhyl Lifeboat. His role with the lifeboat spanned 60 years.
Mr Hughes had been linked with the lifeboats since he was a boy, only leaving his home town of Rhyl for National Service. He lived alone but was part of the fishing scene in Rhyl harbour.
His funeral will take place tomorrow. The lifeboat crew will carry Mr Hughes's coffin to the church from the lifeboat station on an inshore lifeboat.
A spokesperson for Rhyl Lifeboat station said: "On Friday we will be saying goodbye to a member of our Rhyl RNLI family.
"Retired Second Coxswain Gerald Hughes's funeral will be taking place at St Thomas's Church in Rhyl at 12pm. This will be a traditional lifeboat funeral with the crew carrying Gerald's coffin to the church from the lifeboat station on the inshore lifeboat."
Retired crew members are invited to accompany funeral procession to the church. Any past crew wishing to attend should arrive at Rhyl lifeboat station for 11am. Members of the public who would like to pay their respects to Mr Hughes are welcome to attend the church service.
Paul Frost, deputy 2nd coxswain at Rhyl lifeboat, said: “Gerald regularly attended the station in the morning to meet his fellow crew and colleagues, until ill health prevented him getting down there. He still came down on a Sunday morning when he was picked up by former Coxswain Peter Robinson.
”He took a great interest in the station and it's 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, it's harbour, and the fishing trade."
Martin Jones, Rhyl Coxswain, added: "Gerald will be missed by all in the local sea-going community.”