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Whitesands: Pilot injured after light aircraft crashes into water

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have responded to a light aircraft which has crashed into the water at Whitesands.

Just before 1:15pm today (Sept 4) HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls reporting a light aircraft crash landed into shallow water off the Whitsands Bay area of St Davids.

A number of emergency services are on scene, including the St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team, Wales Air Ambulance, Dyfed-Powys Police and the Welsh Ambulance Service.

The plane involved in the crash is a Piper PA-28-180 Challenger. It had taken off from Withbybush Airport approximately 20 minutes before the crash. The plane had originally taken off from Bedfordshire.

The Herald understands that those at the scene were told an engine failure caused the crash landing.

Near the beach: The view from a nearby cliff (pic. ellarichardsonphotography.co.uk)

The pilot was the only occupant of the plane and has been recovered from the wreckage by the Whitesands beach lifeguards.

Pictures and footage on social media have shown members of the public rushing to the crashed plane in an attempt to help the pilot.

Plane crash: Members of the public rushed to help (pic. ellarichardsonphotography.co.uk)

Andy Carroll, Coastguard Controller, said: “The pilot sustained a head injury and is suffering from shock, he has been handed into the care of the ambulance service.”

A spokesperson for the Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called at approximately 1.20pm today (Tuesday September 4, 2018) to an incident at Whitesands, St Davids, Pembrokeshire. We responded with one emergency ambulance and an air ambulance.”

Ian Price, owner of the St Davids B&B, told the BBC: “I arrived at the beach after the crash happened and there was a lot of emergency services there – coastguard, police, ambulance.

“I don’t know if it was just one pilot in the plane but someone was being carried out by the lifeboat.

“It’s lucky it wasn’t a week ago when the beach was much busier over school holidays. Today it’s been quite windy so there weren’t as many people around.”

Also talking to the BBC, Sophie Williams, a cafe worker at Whitesands Beach, said: “He is very lucky to be alive. If he had gone a couple of hundred yards further he would have smashed into the cliffs.

“At any other time of this summer the beach would have been packed – it’s lucky the school holidays are over and there were not more people in the water.

“The first people who got to him were two walkers. He told them he had suffered engine failure.”

RNLI lifeguard Luke Evans, 23, was first on the scene, along with colleagues Noah Harvatt, 22, and 18-year-old Mylo Houston-Sime. 20-year-old Senior Lifeguard Matty McLeod took command of communications and alerted the Coastguard.

Luke said: “I looked over and saw that the plane was only five metres from the water so it was obvious what was happening. We were the first responders and ran down to the scene with our trauma bag.

“The plane was sitting in very shallow water, and the wheel had come off, but the shell was intact. The pilot was badly shaken and had some facial and head injuries, but was still conscious and able to communicate.

“We assessed him and then were able to help him up the beach back to the lifeguard unit where we gave him oxygen and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

“The plane made quite a splash when it came down but luckily it was pretty quiet on the beach and in the water, so there were no injuries to anyone else.”

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Sam Trevor added: “The team responded very quickly, all three are experienced lifeguards but you’re never sure what to expect from an incident like this.

“Mylo was actually off-duty but they all did a really professional job – it took a bit of courage to approach that scene, but the RNLI lifeguards at Whitesands were professional as always.”

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Residents invited to a Pembroke Tunnel drop-in event

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NETWORK RAIL is inviting residents to a drop-in event to find out more about essential maintenance work at Pembroke Tunnel, west Wales, which will improve the resilience and reliability of the railway for passengers.
The work includes essential vegetation management and rock netting in the area with work taking place for a week in December before the main work takes place in January and February.
Ahead of the work residents are invited to a drop-in event on Monday 18 November from 3pm to 6.30pm at the Dutton Suite, Pembroke Leisure Centre, Bush, Pembroke, SA71 4RJ.
No appointments are necessary and members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions.
Then between Saturday 14 and Friday 20 December Network Rail will carry out drilling work overnight to install rock anchors at the top of the railway cutting as Network Rail prepare for the main phase of the works.
That will then take place between Sunday 19 January 2020 and Saturday 8 February 2020 where engineers will work day and night to install rock anchors and bolts before installing the rock netting across the railway cutting using road rail vehicles and specialist machinery.
Michael Pinkerton, scheme project manager for Wales and Borders, said:
“We would like to thank residents in advance for their patience and understanding as we carry out this work at Pembroke Tunnel.
“All this planned essential work forms part of our commitment to maintain a safe and reliable railway that is fit for use now and in the future. We are working closely with our partners to keep disruption to the local community to a minimum and encourage anyone wishing to find out more about this work to come along to our drop-in event later.”

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“We have a duty to win” says Crabb at campaign launch

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STEPHEN CRABB has launched his 2019 General Election campaign, highlighting the ‘duty and responsibility’ the Party has to win.
The Welsh Conservative candidate is hoping to be re-elected on December 12, having served as MP for the last 14 years.
At the launch at Martha’s Vineyard on Milford Marina, Stephen addressed a crowd of supporters with a promise to continue being a strong voice for Preseli Pembrokeshire in Westminster.
Stephen Crabb has consistently been one of the hardest working Welsh MPs with a strong track record of standing up for the local community.
Speaking at the campaign launch, Stephen said: “This General Election will be the most important for many years.
“We face a choice between the Conservatives who have a clear plan to unblock Brexit and improve Britain – or a coalition of opposition parties under Jeremy Corbyn, who want more years of delay and division.
“That is not in our national interest nor is it in the best interests of Pembrokeshire. The Conservative Party has a serious duty and responsibility to go out and win this election.
“Over the last 14 years I have fought tirelessly for local people and local businesses and if re-elected, I will continue to work hard to give Pembrokeshire a strong voice in Parliament.”
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Christmas shopping misery for west Wales rail users

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RAIL USERS in west Wales face festive misery due to engineering works which will close the Carmarthen to Milford Haven link for almost a month.

The line will be closed from this Sunday, until the Sunday before Christmas, at a time when many take the train to Swansea and Cardiff shopping for gifts for friends and family.

Signs have already been posted at railway stations confirming the delays.

Trains will be replaced by buses; rail officials have said.

A spokesman from Network Rail said: “Due to essential maintenance work, rail replacement bus services will run between Carmarthen and Milford Haven from Monday, November 18 until Sunday, December 22.

“Pembroke dock and Fishguard services are also affected on Sunday November 24.

“On all other days of operation, the train services will continue to stop at Whitland, Clynderwen and Clarbeston Road, Fishguard and Goodwick, Fishguard Harbour and stations to Pembroke Dock.

“We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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