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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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New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation

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PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.

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