A LIFEBOAT volunteer who served more than 30 years with Holyhead RNLI died on New Year’s Eve.

Former lifeboat coxswain, Williams Jones, was 91 years old.

He was one of five from Anglesey who battled 20ft waves and 12 force gales, risking their lives in order to rescue crew members of the 1,287-tonne Greek-registered ship Nafsiporos, which had broken down in heavy seas between North Wales and the Isle of Man.

Aged 39 at the time, he was the second coxswain on the Holyhead RNLI lifeboat and was later awarded a medal for gallantry for the part he played during the rescue mission which took place on December 2, 1966 and lasted a whole day.

Mr Jones joined Holyhead RNLI in the 1950’s and went on to serve as coxswain between 1969 and 1987.

During his service, he received a number of honours, including a silver medal in 1977 and two bronze medals in 1967 and 1978.

A spokesperson for the Holyhead RNLI said: “We were very sad to hear that former coxswain of Holyhead Lifeboat, Will Jones, had passed away.

“Will joined the RNLI here in Holyhead in the 1950’s and was one of the crew who risked their lives during the 1966 ‘Nafsiporos’ rescue.

“Another friend to the station , Mr John Marsh, also passed away over the Christmas period. 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.”

Holyhead Mayor, Cllr Keith Thomas also paid his respects to Mr Jones, saying: "I knew of him more than knowing him well, when myself and Gwenda kept the Victoria Inn in Porthyfelin, Will was one of my regulars.

"We had many a long chat with him regarding his time on the Lifeboats. I wish to say that he was a brave man along with all the RNLI volunteers and he served our Town and the seafaring community with distinction.

"I would like to thank him for his many years of dedicated service, he will be missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him."

Former Holyhead Sea Cadets commanding officer Sue Williams added: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of another local seafarer and Ex-Sea Cadet.

“Will was involved with the Holyhead Lifeboat for many decades and was awarded many medals during that time.

“I met him a couple of times during my term as commanding officer. My thoughts are with his family.”