Moelfre Lifeboat Station, a Distinguished Maritime Service on Anglesey
Do you often wonder what dramatic rescues have started out from Moelfre Lifeboat station?
Well, here is the first in a series of articles on Moelfre Lifeboat station. You will also read about interviews with various volunteer crew members, all with their own own story to tell.
There has been a lifeboat in Moelfre since 1830, and lifeboats were first launched down a slipway here in 1893.
The year 1909 saw construction of a new boathouse and slipway was constructed. This boathouse is still used today, with no changes until 1987, when it was adapted to accommodate the present all-weather lifeboat, the Tyne class Robert and Violet.
This included extending the slipway, new doors for the boathouse, a boarding platform, a new main lifeboat winch and a new fuel storage tank.
A ‘summer only’ inshore D class lifeboat was placed on service in 1965 and in 1994 this was extended to an all year round service.
Over the years Lifeboats and lifeboat crews have changed quite dramatically. In 1884, after 34 years as Coxswain, at the age of 82, Coxswain Rowland Hugens resigned!
In 1916, reports suggest the lifeboat launched with all the crew aged over 65. Today’s crew members of all weather lifeboats generally retire at the age of 55 and inshore lifeboats at 45.
Moelfre Lifeboat Station has a remarkable history of bravery with its lifeboat crews being awarded 37 medals for gallantry - four Gold, seven Silver and 26 Bronze.
Two of the Gold Medals were awarded to the outstanding figure in the station’s history - Coxswain Richard (Dic) Evans, one of the few lifeboatmen ever to have won the RNLI’s Gold Medal for bravery twice.
Dic Evans became a crew member in 1921 when he was just 16. He took over as coxswain from his uncle, John Mathews, in 1954, himself a recipient of the Silver Medal.
He earned his first RNLI Gold Medal five years later, during a daring rescue, saving the crew of the stricken SS Hindlea’s in hurricane force winds.
The second Gold Medal came in December 1966, when he helped save 10 men from the Greek ship, Nafsiporos, which had broken down off Point Lynas in heavy seas.
In 1970 Mr Evans retired as coxswain but continued to promote the RNLI until he died, aged 96, in 2001. A 2m bronze statue of Dic Evans, located at the Seawatch Centre, was unveiled by Prince Charles on 23rd November, 2004.
During 2007 the Moelfre Lifeboat has attended the following incidents:
- 9 April ALB launched to vessel 25 miles North of Point Lynas, suffering with engine failure. Lifeboat connected a tow. As the vessel had contaminated fuel, the tow was taken over by Holyhead lifeboat to transfer the casualty to Holyhead where there are more appropriate facilities. Moelfre ALB reurns to the station.
- 9 April ILB launched on service to reports of 4 persons stranded on the West side of East Mouse Island. The casualty vessel, ‘Juno’ was identified with one person aboard, while the remaining three crew had scrambled on to the island. Lifeboat made the rescue and headed for Amlwch Port, where the casualties were handed over to Moelfre and Cemaes mobile Coastguard teams.
- 14 April ILB launched following call reagarding a rowing boat in difficulty off Moelfre Island. ILB towed the casualty back to the beach.
- 20 April ALB launched to a yacht with engine failure 17 miles NNW of Point Lynas. Due to weather conditions yacht was unable to sail, so she was towed into Amlwch Port.
- 30 April ALB called to investigate an icident north east of Point Lynas. Once on scene a search was carried out but nothing found. ALB eventually returned to Amlwch Port due to heavy swell on Moelfre Lifeboat Station slipway.
Moelfre Lifeboat Station is open daily from 9am to 4pm.
Directions: On A55, take first junction as soon as you cross the Britannia Bridge. Turn right and follow signs for the A5025 for Amlwch. On the A5025, look out for signs for Moelfre village.
See Map of Anglesey here.