Holyhead Marina staff have been praised for "risking life and limb" trying to save sinking boats during the "worst weather conditions ever seen" at the port.

A team battled for 24 hours to save stricken vessels as the marina took a severe battering from Storm Emma.

Videos by Kerry Roberts / North Wales Chronicle

Dozens of boats broke free of moorings, many sunk, or ran aground on the breakwater, whilst others were damaged as they crashed into other vessels after a storm force 12 hit on Thursday night and continued with a high surf into Friday.

As crowds gather to watch people are being warned by the RNLI, marine bosses and MP Albert Owen to "stay away," due to the ongoing "treacherous" conditions.

Marine director Geoff Garrod said: "We have been battered, there are many vessels damaged and sunk. It is some of the worst conditions we've seen. The surf is still high, and it is still windy, we can't properly assess just how bad things are. There is a lot of damage.

"I am full of praise for the lads who worked for 24 hours to save people's boats, they were cold and miserable, they risked life and limb without putting safety at jeopardy.

"Luckily no one has been hurt. But this one has absolutely destroyed us. We were very grateful to MP Albert Owen for coming down to see if we were OK."

Anglesey Labour MP Albert Owen who lives in Holyhead said: "This is the cruel sea at its very worst. It has been exceptional weather circumstances, we have never seen anything as bad as this before.

"It as been absolutely horrendous and there has been a huge amount of damage, the storm has caused absolute havoc. We are now urging people to please stay away whilst conditions are still treacherous."

Holyhead RNLI spokesperson Vicki Owens said: "It is absolutely horrific. I have never seen anything like it in 15 years of living here, there is so much damage and boats floating everywhere. The pontoon has gone, It is really, really bad.

"Due to the extreme weather conditions, last night we had to move our all weather lifeboat from her berth at the marina at about 8.30pm.

The crew assembled at the station, and in force 12 conditions, took the lifeboat to a safer berth in the inner harbour area.

It was lucky they did.It was necessary to launch the D-class to get the crew safely to the boat, a fantastic team effort meant this was done safely and efficiently.

“We will stay berthed within the inner harbour for now. We are urging people to stay away from the marina and promenade as it is still treacherous and with the high waves people could get washed in to the sea.”