Ashleigh Holtby Obituary, Death – It is with deep regret that we must inform you of the passing of one of the most talented RNLI lifeboat men in our organization. In the year 1986, Ashleigh Holtby became a member of the Weston RNLI crew. He had previous experience as a boatman and quickly demonstrated that he was an expert
seaman who had a superior understanding of the ocean, its waves, and its wind than the majority of people. When the lifeboat ventured out into potentially dangerous and stormy weather, he was the member of the crew who you wished you had with you the entire time. Even the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) used him as a poster boy for one of their fundraising campaigns. (see photo) The rest of the team enjoyed Ash’s wicked sense of humor,
which made him a popular member of the group. When he was only 38 years old, he suffered a bleed in his brain that was caused by an aneurysm. This happened much too early. Following Ash’s stroke, his crew number 5, which indicated that he was always welcome back, was kept available for him as a sign that he would always be welcome
back until the time came for his official retirement. After he had recovered from this stroke, he poured himself into fundraising for the Weston RNLI, despite the fact that he was unable to participate in the actual boat crew. He first found employment in the lifeboat shop located at Anchor Head. It was generally known that he would regale both the tourists and his fellow workers with his tales of the sea, fishing, and lifeboats. His stories were very entertaining.
In 2018, he suffered a second stroke, but this did not prevent him from continuing to volunteer for the Weston RNLI. His dedication is much appreciated. He was always ready with suggestions for new crew members and attended crew breakfasts every Friday as a matter of course. On the morning of his 60th birthday, several members of the Weston
RNLI family surprised him by joining him for breakfast at Stones, which is located on the sea front. (see photo) . In the time that followed, he suffered a second stroke, which resulted in his admission to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. It was there, on the day of his 60th birthday, that he passed away. “Ash was “Old School,” amazing
knowledge in that head of his, a natural boatman, natural ability, he could run rings around any manual you care to mention,” said his family. During his time serving on the Weston lifeboat, 135 people’s lives were saved, and many others were rescued by other vessels. He will be deeply mourned, but those who knew and loved him will celebrate his life.