THE funeral of a former Hoylake Lifeboat Coxswain takes place this week.

John McDermott joined Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat in 1962 and West Kirby Lifeboat station shortly after its inception in 1966, as John was already an accomplished sailor the progression was natural for him and he took it in his stride.

John took over as Coxswain of RNLI Hoylake Lifeboat on December 1, 1981 and was to continue holding that position for the next 16 years, retiring at the age of 55 as the rules at that time dictated.

His funeral will be held at St Hildeburgh’s Church in Hoylake this Thursday, June 19, at 1.30pm.

A spokesman for Hoylake lifeboat said “Our condolences and thoughts are with John’s family at this sad time.”

He took part in many rescues over the years and as a result of his experience, became Second Coxswain to the late Harry Jones in 1974.

A spokesman for Hoylake Lifeboat said: “One of the most memorable services that John was involved in was to the catamaran Truganini in trouble in heavy seas on the West Hoyle bank with three people on board.

“The Lifeboat launched into a westerly gale that reached storm force at times making the launch and passage very difficult.

“On arrival at the casualty it was decided to put John and one other crew member on board.

For his outstanding courage and seamanship John was awarded the RNLI’s “Thanks on Vellum”.

A former student of Kingsmead in West Kirby and Calday Grammar School, John worked in the family business growing vegetables and also many flowers for the local shops and marketing them in the old market in Liverpool and latterly in the Edge Lane market.

His maritime career started at a young age with small dinghies graduating to sailing boats either off Hoylake and Meols or in Port Erin, Isle ofMan on holiday with his parents.

He married Mary in 1968 and they had two daughters, Claire and Sarah, who then gave him five wonderful grandchildren who were the light of his life.

Mary recalled: “We all had fun times skiing, and holidays in the sun, sailing around the Menai Straits and across to his beloved Isle of Man.

“He loved his walking wherever we went we had to walk the largest mountain or fell in the area. Cycling was also a passion and he was seen most nights cycling up to Hoylake for his 'well deserved' pint in a local hostelry to catch up on the most recent news in the parish.

“John was a quiet and well respected man who loved his wife and family and also the sea in every way possible.”