A LIFEBOAT volunteer has completed 40 years of serving in the 'famous' RNLI yellow wellies.

Nigel Forrest has served on seven different Llandudno lifeboats and served under four different coxswains. Over the years, he has been involved in rescuing hundreds of people and saving several lives, undertaking a variety of different roles including that of assistant mechanic and Talus tractor driver for the Andy Pearce.

Nigel was also involved in the Towyn Floods in February 1990, when the seaside town of Towyn was devastated by the sea. The combination of strong onshore winds, low pressure and spring tides caused severe flooding and damage.

North-westerly gales and a deep low pressure raised the sea level by 1.5m, creating a storm surge in the Irish Sea.

The sea breached a railway embankment and hundreds of tonnes of seawater rushed through the streets flooding hundreds of homes and caravans.

North Wales Pioneer:

Nigel Forrest has served on seven different Llandudno lifeboats and served under four different coxswains

Nigel said: "With my Llandudno colleagues we were there for three days doing our best to help the public during a terrible disaster. It is an incident I will never forget especially as my daughter was born at the same time."

A special Framed Certificate presented to the station for services during the Towyn floods recorded how “Llandudno lifeboatmen strove tirelessly for up to 16 hours each day and succeeded in helping over two hundred persons to safety”.

Nigel recalled being involved in many 'significant' events over the years including taking the retiring All-weather Lifeboat Lilly Wainwright to Ireland in the teeth of a ferocious storm on the Irish Sea and, closer to home, a dramatic inshore lifeboat rescue saving the life of a casualty off Llandudno Pier.

Captain Marcus Elliott, lifeboat operations manager for Llandudno RNLI, said: "It’s a fantastic effort by Nigel, to have been a steadfast crew member, for the last 40 years. Nigel has given great service to Llandudno RNLI and we are immensely proud to honour his achievements."

Graham Heritage, current coxswain, said: "Nigel has for so many years consistently made himself available for duty, he is a most willing and reliable hand who has made a massive commitment for such a long time.

"He is the epitome of a loyal volunteer".