Cemlyn Lifeboat, History of Great Deeds



The Cemlyn Lifeboat played a notable role in rescuing ships and sailors off the North Anglesey coast during the 19th and early 20th century. It was established mainly due to the indefatigable efforts of a local family, the Lloyd Williams's.


The name of Canon Owen Lloyd Williams, Rector of Llanrhyddlad and Chancellor of Bangor Cathedral, is synonymous with North Wales Lifeboats. His mother, witnessing the tragic loss of life when the Alert foundered off West Mouse in 1823, was the driving force in this whole process.


In 1828, five years after the Alert tragedy, the Lifeboat station was in operation. For the next ninety years it would help sixteen ships in difficulty off this north west coast. In fact, the Lifeboat Station closed in 1918, the same year that Canon Lloyd Williams died a the age of ninety.








Highlights of Cemlyn Lifeboat Rescues:

  • On 1 November 1853 the schooner Compeer from Salcombe, Devon, was in difficulty off the north coast. The vessel and five crew members were rescued.
  • The steam ship Olinda was helped off Holyhead on 26 January 1854, and seventeen people were saved.
  • Off Harry Furlong's Rocks on 8 October 1879, the schooner Haleswell was rescued.
  • Five lives and the schooner Maggie of Ardrossan were saved near the Platters rocks on 10 August 1889.
  • On 14 April 1894 the schooner, Star of Douglas, was in trouble to the east of the Skerries. Three lives were saved.

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