TRIBUTES have been paid following the death of a former Holyhead RNLI lifeboat crew member.

It was with great sadness the Holyhead lifeboat crew learned of the death of one of their deputy launching authorities and former crewman Robert (Bob) Thomson.

Mr Thomson died at the age of 68, on Saturday, January 27.

Bob first joined the RNLI in 1970, and served as a dedicated crew member for many years. He took part in many rescues over the next few decades, and became head launcher in 1985.

During his lifeboat career, Bob served on many different classes of vessels, including the Barnett class, Waveney, Arun and Tyne lifeboats.

He was one of the crew to bring in the Arun class ‘Hyman Winstone’ in 1980 from her birthplace, as well as the Tyne class St. Cybi II in 1985.

More recently, Bob took on a role as deputy launching authority (DLA).

He was always a regular visitor and friend to the station and the crew.

He balanced his lifeboat career with running his own plumbing business, and spending time with his late wife Glenys and three daughters, and his grandchildren.

In 2004, at the naming ceremony for the current all-weather lifeboat Christopher Pearce, Bob met RNLI patron HRH the Duke of Kent. His last time at sea was on that vessel two years ago, accompanying his brother Brian, who was coxswain at Holyhead until the end of 2016.

Then, the vessel was brought back from Portrush after some mechanical work.

Current coxswain at the station, Tony Price, said that Bob had contributed a great deal to the local community:

“He did so much for the town he lived in all his life, volunteering here at the lifeboat station for all of those years, but also providing a service and employment for so many.

"We would all like to extend our sincere condolences to all of Bob’s family and friends. He’ll be very sadly missed.”

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK.