RNLI pay tribute to East Neuk volunteer Gary

Gary Hughes.
Gary Hughes.

Tributes have been paid to an Anstruther RNLI volunteer who dedicated more than 32 years to the service.

Gary Hughes, who joined the RNLI when he was just 23 years old, was laid to rest this week, with family, friends and colleagues packing out Cellardyke Church.

Representatives from the RNLI Regional Base in Perth joined crew members from neighbouring Kinghorn and Dunbar in paying their respects to Gary.

Serving as part of the launch and recover shore team, Gary launched The Doctors from 1986-1991 before the arrival of his beloved Kingdom of Fife which serves the shores on the Firth of Forth.

With more than 700 launches in Gary’s 32 years service, memories of the important role Gary played in getting the lifeboat to the sea safely was remember with fond stories shared.

In a fitting tribute, Anstruther Lifeboat operations manager Roy Giles reflected on Gary’s character around the station, saying: “His uncanny knack of knowing when we would get our next shout could not be called into question – after all, he said it every day.”

With a fluctuating tidal system in Anstruther harbour, Gary played a key part in passing on his knowledge to new recruits.

He also took charge of the station amenities and spent many hours polishing the propeller to ensure the Kingdom of Fife looked at her gleaming bests to visitors of the station.

Gary will also be fondly remembered for welcoming crews back ashore with a smile, teas and coffees.