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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 13:08 GMT
Prince praises 'truly great' hero
Dic Evans
Dic Evans 'went to hell and back' in the award-winning rescues
The achievements of an Anglesey lifeboatman have been honoured by Prince Charles, who described him as a "truly great Welshman".

Dic Evans, who died three years ago aged 96, won the Royal National Lifeboat Institution gold medal twice.

He was honoured for his bravery in two rescues nearly 50 years ago which helped to save stricken sailors.

Prince Charles unveiled a statue of Mr Evans, coxswain of the Moelfre boat, as a memorial to all crews.

'Dic' Evans won two RNLI gold medals for saving the lives of crews of two ships stranded off north Wales in 1959 and 1966.

In both rescues he and the lifeboat crews had to brave storm force winds of more than 100mph to save lives, said family member Michael Williams.

It shows the importance of the Moelfre lifeboat station on the north Wales coast
Michael Williams

"Basically, he went to hell and back twice," said Mr Williams, himself a member of the Moelfre lifeboat crew.

In the first rescue of the Fidlea in October 1959, "he managed on eight occasions to pull the lifeboat alongside and snatch eight men off the rocks".

In the second rescue Dic Evans, then aged 61, helped to save the crew of a Greek freighter which had lost power and was drifting dangerously close to the notorious Skerries off Holyhead.

Again the coxswain and his crew braved storm force winds to help rescue the ship's crew, despite their lifeboat suffering great damage.

Charles said: "I really am so pleased to be with you today to commemorate the life of a truly great Welshman.

"This statue represents the value of service, duty and self-sacrifice, and Dic Evans remains, even after his death, an example to us all.

Prince Charles
The prince attended a memorial service before unveiling the statue
"It will serve as a lasting memory, not only to Dic Evans, but the spirit, duty, courage and service of lifeboatmen."

Mr Williams said it was remarkable that the village of Moelfre had five gold RNLI winners.

"It shows the importance of the Moelfre lifeboat station on the north Wales coast," he said. "It's a very busy station and the coast can be very treacherous."

Prince Charles arrived by royal train at Bangor railway station ahead of the memorial service at Carmel Chapel, Moelfre.

The prince spent nearly 15 minutes talking to some of the 200 local children.

Last week critics accused the prince of believing people could not rise above their station, sparked by a controversial memo in which Charles attacked the "child-centred" education system "which admits no failure".

In a speech to bishops at Lambeth Palace on Monday. the prince gave a robust defence of his opinions, saying that the idea that he held this view was "a travesty of the truth"

Later, Prince Charles was visiting the recently restored Dolbelydr House, a 16th Century Grade II listed building in Trefnant, Denbighshire, before going on the Welsh College of Horticulture in Northop, Flintshire.

Lifeboat plans for home by sea
20 May 04 |  North West Wales
Sea rescue hero statue honour
26 Jul 03 |  North West Wales

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