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Boat owner jailed for 15 months following death of two fishermen

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Eshcol: The boat on which the two fishermen died

THE PEMBROKESHIRE owner of a boat on which two fishermen died of carbon monoxide poisoning has been jailed for 15 months.

Mark Arries, 26, and Edward Ide, 21, were found dead on the fishing vessel Eshcol as it was moored in Whitby harbour, North Yorkshire, in January 2014.

The pair were using a gas cooker to warm the boat overnight as they slept.

Boat owner Timothy Bowman-Davies admitted failing to ensure that the ship was operated safely and that work equipment was maintained efficiently was aware that the crew were using the cooker as a heating source.

But the 44-year-old from Neyland told Leeds Crown Court he did not know the men were using the cooker as a heater.

On Wednesday (Aug 2), Judge Tom Bayliss QC rejected this basis of plea and jailed the defendant for 15 months.

He said: “Two men have died. Those who employ others and whose actions create a risk of harm must take the consequences when harm results, such as here.”

The judge said: “He knew the cooker was being used to heat the vessel. A simple risk assessment would have revealed the danger.”

He also said there appears to have been a ‘general ignorance within the industry’ about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

In victim personal statements read to the court, Mr Arries and Mr Ide were both described by their families as doting young fathers who had fishing in their blood.

Mr Arries’s fiancee, Kim Grieve, explained how one of their two twin daughters had died shortly after her birth just five months before the incident.

She said Mr Arries was a ‘devoted dad’ to his son, who is now eight, and surviving twin daughter.

Ms Grieve said: “I’m heartbroken my soul mate has gone.”

His mother, Tracey Arries, said in her statement that she worried every day about her son out at sea only to see him die while tied up in port.

She said: “It breaks my heart that I lost my boy when something so small as a monitor would have saved his life.”

Mr Ide’s mother, Gail Oliver, said her ‘world fell apart’ with the death ofher son.

His fiancee, Sarah-Louise Tait said he was loving father to their son, now three.

The court heard that Mr Arries, from Blyth, Northumberland, and Mr Ide, from Amble, Northumberland, arrived to work on the boat on January 8, 2014.

They were part of a fleet of three vessels fishing for scallops in the North Sea and had returned from a trip in the early hours of the morning of January 15.

The court heard that Bowman-Davies’s son Jake, who was 15 at the time, was working on one of the other boats and found the bodies of his colleagues.

The 19-year-old said each of the three vessels was provided with a fan heater for warmth and could access power from the engine, a generator or an electric hook-up in the harbour.

He said he offered the two men a power cable after they moored in Whitby but they refused.

Jake Bowman-Davies told the court his father did not know the cooker was being used as a heater on the Eshcol, which contradicted his statements to police.

Judge Bayliss said he believed the teenager’s original version of events, accusing him of lying in court to protect his father.

The court heard how two of the defendant’s other boats were lost after the tragedy with his son skippering.

One sank with the crew having to be rescued by helicopter and the other crashed into rocks when Jake Bowman-Davies fell asleep.

Reports from 2015 described the then 17-year-old as Britain’s youngest fishing boat captain. They said he crashed the vessel in the dark near Milford Haven eight months after the sinking of the other vessel off the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.

But Jake Bowman-Davies was given a bravery award for saving the lives of his crew during the first incident.

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Education

Styling their way to the top

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(Left to right) Level 2 - Festival theme - work by Holly Mathias and Celebration of Colour - Level 2 and 3 – work by Leah Rees

FOUR hairdressing learners: Holly Mathias, Jenna Kilgallon, Helaina Thomas and Leah Rees, recently earned themselves a place in the next stage of the Concept Hair Magazine Learner of the Year Competition.

The candidates were invited into the College to show their fully presented entries as evidence and then submitted them remotely to the Concept Hair Magazine judges in December.

The categories for the competition were: Festival Hair, Red Carpet, Old School Barbershop, Celebration of Colour and Safari.

The unique styles allowed the learners to show off their creative hair styling skills from plaits to updos, to bold colour creations.

Charlotte Jones, Hairdressing lecturer was over the moon with the learners’ success; “We were all so impressed with the creativity, dedication and enthusiasm of all the students who took part in the competition. Also, the students who supported the entries during the day and the models who gave up their time to be involved. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved. The results were amazing!”

The students worked to COVID regulations ensuring all the correct PPE and procedures were followed.

Finalist, Holly Mathias entered three categories which included; Styling Level 2 – Festival Theme, Hair Up Level 2 – Red Carpet and Avant Garde – Safari.

Holly shared her experience; “Taking part in the Concept Hair competition, has really boosted my confidence and proved that hard work really does pay off. The support from the staff at Pembrokeshire College is outstanding. I would recommend everyone to take part in this competition as not only is it an amazing experience, but it really allows you to think outside the box and be as creative as you can! I would 100% take part in this competition again.”

Holly plans to go into full-time employment when she completes her course and hopes to one day work on cruise ships or even own her own salon.

The next stage involves the candidates submitting photographic entries on the 12th March where six will be shortlisted for the national finals which is set to take place virtually in April.

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Community

Environmental projects supported by Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund

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PROJECTS involving worm composting, community planting and solar panels were just some of the projects that recently received support from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.

More than £140,000 was awarded to eight projects at the committee’s January meeting with the next deadline for applications set for 12 noon on 23 March.

Clynfyw Care Farm was successful with an application for a vermicomposting project, which will create a quality rich sustainable compost that can be used to improve soil conditions organically. This will support local vegetable producers and sequestrate carbon in the process.

The Newport Area Environment Group will receive funding to lead a community planting project promoting decarbonisation through biodiversity.

Cwm Arian Renewable Energy secured financial support to research a Pembrokeshire-wide Energy Efficiency program, with the aim of reducing energy use and tackling fuel poverty by increasing and normalising the uptake of low carbon life choices.

Funding for photovoltaic (PV) panels was agreed for projects submitted by Herbrandston Sports and Recreation Association, South Ridgeway Community Association, Neuadd Gymuned Bwlchygroes Community Hall, Ramsey Island Nature resort and Visitor Centre, and Crymych Rugby club, who all received funding to help harness solar energy.

Directors from Clynfyw Care Farm said: “Thanks to funding from SDF, this worm composting project will be a useful tool for engaging with people, reducing CO2 and teaching a simple sustainable process with important stages in a safe, supported environment. Once established, vermicompost will be available for purchase in local outlets, providing an environmentally-friendly alternative for local growers.”

Applications for funding are encouraged from not for profit groups, including village halls, community councils and environmental groups in the county who have a project that will contribute towards a reduction in carbon and help respond to the climate emergency.

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News

Council: Despite a rise Pembrokeshire still has lowest council tax in Wales

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCILLORS have voted to back a recommendation of a 3.75 percent increase in Council Tax for the coming year.

The increase equates to an extra 82p per week for Band D properties.

Pembrokeshire will still have the lowest Council Tax in Wales with Pembrokeshire Band D Council Tax payers paying £214.11, or £4.11 per week, less than the average across the country.

Cllr Bob Kilmister, the Cabinet Member for Finance, said the increase had been reduced from a proposed 5 per cent to 3.75 per cent to reduce the impact on Council Tax payers.

Introducing the budget to members, Cllr Kilmister said to go for a figure below 3.75 per cent would inevitably lead to much higher rises in future years.

Falling below 3.75 per cent would also lead to cuts in Council services, Cllr Kilmister said.

He added: “A reduction in services and staff numbers will affect the poorest in our communities the most. I believe we have a duty to these people.”

Councillors also voted for Council house rents to be increased by 1.5% for the coming year plus increases of up to 50p per week where properties are not at target rent levels.

The votes were taken at the full meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council held on Thursday, March 4.

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