My cousin Gerald died at the weekend at the age of 86. Apart from a time on National Service in the Royal Artillery, he spent his entire life in the town and most of it as part of the Rhyl lifeboat crew.
The picture above shows him in 1960 as Acting Coxswain, He is in the sou’westers and peaked cap in the front of the picture, typical of his shy and modest nature, he isn’t facing the camera.
During his lifeboat service he took part in hundreds of rescues, from tourists taken off-shore on li-los to merchant ships and yachts in distress. His most unusual shout was to try to save the world’s first commercial hovercraft, which slipped its moorings in storms at the Foryd Harbour.
I was always aghast that Gerald could not swim, given his seafaring activities, but he explained that in the seas they were called out in, being a good swimmer counted for no more than an extra thirty seconds before the sea overwhelmed you.
The RNLI was the central pillar of his life and it was very comforting to see how quickly the RNLI reacted to the news of his death with this tribute…
RNLI Tribute to Gerald