A LIFEBOAT crew from Rhyl marked the 170th anniversary of the Rhyl Lifeboat Disaster at a town memorial today (January 23).

Lifeboat crew members Mathew Baines, Mark Waterworth, Paul Elwin, Harry Clews and Adam Jones-Booth joined fundraiser Jan Robinson, who maintains the memorial with husband Peter Robinson, to pay their respects and remember the lost crew.

Rhyl Journal: Crew members and volunteers honour the anniversary.Crew members and volunteers honour the anniversary. (Image: Rhyl RNLI)

At 5pm on the 22 January 1953 the crew of the Rhyl Lifeboat Gwylan y Mor (The Seagull) launched after reports of a vessel in distress in a moderate gale.

The crew went three miles to the reported location but could not find the vessel so turned back to Rhyl, but was hit by a wave and capsized around three quarters of a mile from the shore.

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The Coxswain Owen Jones managed to pull two crew members back onto the upturned lifeboat but another wave washed them all off again, and Coxswain Jones attempted to swim back to the lifeboat whilst dragging the two crew with him before they became separated.

He managed to get back to the boat himself to find two crew members, Peter Edwards and John Williams, holding onto ropes on the side of the lifeboat. The three men held onto the lifeboat until it was pushed ashore.

Six of the nine crew lost their lives: David George, John Evans, Phillip Jones, Thomas Jones, John Edwards and William Parry. They left behind four widows and seven children.