Trib­utes to ‘brave man who loved what he did on the lifeboat’:



TRIB­UTES have been paid to a lifeboat vol­un­teer and hero who served with Holy­head RNLI for more than 30 years.

Wil­liam Jones, a for­mer lifeboat coxswain, died aged 91 on New Year’s Eve.

He was one of the five Naf­si­poros res­cue heroes from An­gle­sey who risked their lives in what has been de­scribed as one of the most re­mark­able res­cues in the RNLI’s his­tory.

Aged 39 at the time, he was the sec­ond coxswain on the Holy­head RNLI Lifeboat at the time and was later awarded a rare medal for gal­lantry for the part he played dur­ing the res­cue of the stricken Greek cargo ship on De­cem­ber 2, 1966 that in­volved three lifeboats and lasted 24 hours.

The en­gine of the 1,287ton freighter had failed and was drift­ing to­wards the An­gle­sey coast in 100mph hur­ri­cane winds with 19 mem­bers on board.

Re­mem­ber­ing the event on the RNLI’s 50th an­niver­sary in an in­ter­view with our sis­ter pa­per the Daily Post, Mr Jones said: “I sup­pose in many ways we were all re­luc­tant to rush into the ter­ri­ble sea, but re­fus­ing to launch the St Cybi never even crossed our minds.”

He also re­called how the “rise and fall be­tween the ship and lifeboat was enor­mous” and how “one mo­ment we were look­ing up at her and the next we were in line with her deck, a mat­ter of around 20 feet or more.”

In the 1950’s, he joined the RNLI in Holy­head and served as coxswain be­tween 1969 and 1987.

He re­ceived a num­ber of other ac­co­lades dur­ing his ser­vice, in­clud­ing two bronze medals in 1967 and 1978.

Crews from Holy­head RNLI who paid trib­ute to Mr Jones, said: “We were very sad to hear that for­mer coxswain of Holy­head lifeboat, Mr Wil­liam (Will) Jones, had passed away on New Year’s Eve aged 91.”

A spokes­woman for Holy­head RNLI added: “He was a brave man who loved what he did on the life boat. He was such a lovely man. All of the younger crew mem­bers knew who he was and they all had a fond­ness to­wards him.”

Fol­low­ing the news of Mr Jones’ death, trib­utes have poured in on the Holy­head RNLI Face­book page.

His niece, Charmian Ban­croft, wrote: “You will be missed by all of us Un­cle Will. We are so proud of our fam­ily’s con­nec­tion the RNLI and sav­ing lives.”

A friend, David Lloyd Hughes, com­mented: “RIP Will my friend, I took him sail­ing on the Med a few years ago, sadly missed by all who new him.”

Richard Bur­nell added that he was a “lovely guy” who was “al­ways up for a chat”.

A spokesman for Holy­head Mar­itime Mu­seum, said: “Our con­do­lences go to Will’s fam­ily. He was a real hero who risked his life to save oth­ers. We have lost an­other Holy­head great.” A for­mer neigh­bour, Jenny Booth, added: “Will was such a lovely man we lived next door to him for years.”

Kevin Bennett, also wrote: “RIP Will Jones was a plea­sure to know you, con­do­lences to the Jones fam­ily.”

A long­stand­ing sup­porter and fundraiser of Holy­head RNLI, John Marsh, also passed away over the Christ­mas pe­riod.

Writ­ing on so­cial me­dia, a spokesman for the sta­tion added: “John was a long­stand­ing sup­porter, fundraiser and com­mit­tee mem­ber here, and we were very sad to hear the news of his pass­ing.

“Our thoughts are with the fam­i­lies of both these men, both of whom contributed so much.”

Wil­liam Jones, a sur­viv­ing mem­ber of the Holy­head RNLI res­cue of the Naf­si­poros (be­low) has died, aged 91

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