William Riley

The rowers of MYC were invited to row this 1909 rowing lifeboat from Porthmadog to Criccieth and back. The 38 feet long 8 feet wide wooden boat weighs just under 3 tons and is powered by 10 oarsmen. She has been restored over the past few years by the Whitby Historic Lifeboat trust and is now in pristine condition with gleaming varnished mahogany interior and painted exterior. The action needed to row her is very different from our normal action that we use when rowing our celtic longboats and she felt sluggish through the water. We had a bit of a tow with Rubber Duck, our RIB, to help us out of the estuary and were greeted by Criccieth’s current lifeboats for much of the subsequent journey. Some of their crew came aboard for a while.

William Riley at Borth-y-Gest

When we eventually reached Criccieth William Riley was tethered to a buoy and the crew ferried ashore on Rubber Duck.

William Riley at Criccieth

Manon didn’t want to wet her trainers and Bill offered to carry her the short distance to the shore from Rubber Duck. She leaped onto his back before he was ready and both of them ended up in the shallows much to the amusement of the onlookers.
The row back was even harder due to a headwind so the lifeboat was towed back much of the way. All of us who rowed were full of admiration for the original lifeboat crews. How they managed to row such a heavy boat in heavy weather to rescue people was almost beyond belief.
More pictures

Leave a Reply