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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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Council’s cannon stolen from outside Cleddau Bridge Hotel

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A LARGE cannon has been stolen from the now closed Cleddau Bridge Hotel in Pembroke Dock in the last few days.

A local councillor and the police have appealed for information which will lead to the safe return of the gun.

Ward councillor Joshua Beynon said: “Dyfed-Powys Police have just telephoned me to say they are investigating the cannon that was stolen from the former Cleddau Bridge Hotel. It is believed to have gone missing sometime between the evening of Wednesday 20th March to the morning of Thursday 21st March.”

The police said in a statement: “If anyone has any information then can I urge you to call the police on 101 and quote the crime number: DPP/0064/21/03/2019/01/C as soon as possible.”

The cannon, one of two dug up from the ground at Hobbs Point and later restored, used to stand outside Llanion Park, the former offices of South Pembrokeshire District Council, which is now the head office of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The canon is the property of Pembrokeshire County Council and was given to the hotel on loan.

The hotel’s management neglected to make arrangements for its return to the local authority on closing down.

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How to get a refund for unused Cleddau Bridge tickets after April 1

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has announced details on how it plans to refund Cleddau Bridge users left with unused books of bridge tickets after it becomes toll-free.
From 1st April until 30th June refunds will be available from the Cleddau Bridge office itself and the North Wing Customer Service Centre in County Hall, Haverfordwest.
Refunds for all three classes of tickets will be available at the Cleddau Bridge office.

The classes are:

Class A blue-coloured tickets (for motorcycles)
Class B red tickets (cars and light commercial vehicles)
Class C orange tickets (HGVs).

Refunds at the office will be available round-the-clock from 12 noon on 1st April and will be paid – wherever possible – back to the original debit/credit cards up to a maximum of £150 with cash refunds up to £30.

Any refunds over £150 will be made by BACS transfer unless otherwise agreed in advance.

Only Class B red tickets will be refunded at the North Wing Customer Service Centre in Haverfordwest.

Here, refunds will be paid back to the original debit/credit card up to a maximum of £90 (ie three books of 50 tickets)

The maximum cash refund at this location will be £30 (ie one book of 50 tickets).

Refunds at the North Wing Customer Service Centre will be available weekdays between 9 am and 1 pm and 2 pm until 5 pm.

Organisations which have previously purchased tickets with a value exceeding £400 will be contacted during the week commencing Monday, 25th March with instructions on how to reclaim their refunds on an appointment basis at the Cleddau Bridge office.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Paul Miller, said: “I am delighted to announce that bridge users who have unused tickets due to the cessation of tolls will be reimbursed and not find themselves out of pocket.”
Those who qualify for refunds are asked to wait a few days before making a claim so as to avoid a long wait. This particularly applies to refunds at the Cleddau Bridge office.

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Council issue ‘rave alert’ to farmers, landowners and local communities

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL and Dyfed-Powys Police are asking farmers, landowners and local communities to be on alert over the coming weekend (23rd and 24th March) for warning signs of any illegal raves planned for their land.

Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the police, especially if there are unusual numbers of vehicles – in particular, camper vans, vans or trucks – seen in the locality.

Illegal trespassers may recce sites in advance of any rave, or people may approach landowners and ask around for land, in the guise of hiring it for acceptable activities such as gymkhanas or scout camps.

Raves can cause anxiety to the community they are held in and, if not dealt with swiftly, are difficult to stop due to the sheer numbers of people involved. There is also a safety concern involved in breaking up such events.

Anyone with concerns should call Dyfed Powys Police on 101 and ask to speak to the Duty Sergeant or Duty Inspector at Haverfordwest Police Station.

Alternatively, please call Pembrokeshire County Council’s out-of-hours service on 01437 775522.

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