RESPECTS were paid to much-loved former RNLI station mechanic Ray Coltman as his coffin was carried to church on a lifeboat.
The funeral of Ray Coltman, former RNLI station mechanic and lifeboat operations manager, was held yesterday where many past and present crew, station officials and coastguards were part of the procession.
The procession took Ray on his final journey from the boathouse. The coffin was draped in the RNLI flag and they formed a guard of honour walking alongside the inshore lifeboat and at the entrance to the church.
Traffic was stopped by police support officers on the route to provide a passage-free movement, with onlookers doffing their caps and standing still in tribute as the cortege passed by. The walkers were then followed by coastguard officers from Rhyl and Flint, and Ray’s family.
Ray was borne into the church on the shoulders of five senior crew and a member of Ray's family.
Ray, 79, had been a lifeboat mechanic from 1977 to 1989; was Lifeboat Operations Manager from 2003 to 2008; then boathouse manager until his death – well known in the community for his forthright approach and knack of getting things done.
Following the church service, Ray was taken to the new St. Asaph crematorium where he was once again borne on the shoulders of family and crew.
Martin Jones, Rhyl lifeboat Coxswain says: “The whole crew were honoured to show our love and pride to a passing crewman, who served the RNLI for nearly 40 years. Ray will be sorely missed”.
Jayne Coltman-Jones said in a Facebook post: “What a send off you gave him. It really was an amazing tribute to him which we were really overwhelmed by. Rhyl Lifeboat was my Dads whole life! It was all he lived and breathed for.
“I know it was extremely hard for a some of you yesterday, he would of been extremely proud.”