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first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Fifty years after his life was saved by Welsh lifeboat crews, a Greek sailor has formerly given thanks in a touching video message.Friday 2 December marked the 50th anniversary of one of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) remarkable missions that took place in 1966, when 100 mph (approx. 160.5 kph) winds hit the seas off Anglesey and resulted in 35 ft (approx. 10.5 m) waves.The Greek cargo ship Nafsiporos happened to be out at sea at the time shaking uncontrollably and its life boat eventually broke loose rendering it useless.Things seemed bleak before RNLI teams based in Holyhead and Moelfre turned up to save the crew.One of those saved on the day, Anestis Rokopoulos, marked the anniversary by formerly thanking those who assisted him via a video message presented at a special event, where five of the brave men who took part in the rescue mission were present, reported Wales Online. “We had no control and no steering. The rocks looked like knives. Then from the depths of the sea came these boats and we said ‘They have come for us’,” recalled 73-year-old Rokopoulos, the memory still fresh in his mind.“My only message is thank you. I am alive only because of these people. I make a family and I make grandchildren only because of these people.”For Graham Drinkwater, Holyhead RNLI’s current lifeboat operations manager, the rescue mission was his first ever at the age of 19.“It is fantastic to hear from Anestis today and his message of thanks means a great deal to us,” Mr Drinkwater said.“To hear that the Greek sailors went on to live long and happy lives makes us all extremely proud.”After the life boat broke loose, the Greek men had to brave the turbulence and climb down a ladder on the side of the boat, while dodging their own hanging life boat to get on the RNLI boat, which was also wildly being thrashed around.Seaman Dic Evans managed to save another 10 sailors on his lifeboat, before the RNLI boat was swept onto the deck of the Nafsiporos and then washed off with severe damages and loss of electrics.“The more you hear about the rescue of the Nafsiporos the more incredible it becomes,” said RNLI community lifesaving and fundraising director, Leesa Harwood.“RNLI lifeboat crew volunteers save lives at sea by heeding the call for help when everyone else is running for cover. Few events in the charity’s history epitomise this attitude better than the rescue of the Nafsiporos and it is right that we celebrate the 50th anniversary today.”All members of the Holyhead and Moelfre crews were awarded medals for their bravery.last_img read more