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Milford Haven: Aerial photography shows extent of oil pollution incident

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AERIAL photos have been released by the Port Authority of what Valero Oil Refinery is saying is a 2,200 gallon leak of heavy fuel oil into Milford Haven.

The Port said: “Aerial photographs used to inform the ongoing oil pollution response, showing a light sheen that is dispersing through natural processes as confirmed by this morning’s MCA aircraft surveillance
Members of the public have been commenting on the social media about the incident.

Danielle Hall commented: “Why has this leak happened? Are the pipes not maintained properly.
What will the effects be on the environment, wildlife, the beaches keeping blue flag status? The tourist industry? The fines Valero have paid in the past are so small compared to their profits. How can this be justified? The impact on local communities is not considered either.”

MCA spotter plane: Used to survey pollution from air (Pic: File)

Andy Drumm asked on The Port of Milford Haven’s Facebook page: “The saltmarshes are not the only sensitive environment. What about aquatic ecosystems? Who will assess the damage? Who will pay to compensate the negative impact and the cost of the clean up? And who will be held accountable for this disaster?”
The Port responded: “As indicated by Natural Resource Wales in the above, a full investigation is underway and the findings of this will be shared once concluded.

A Port press release states: “A multi-agency response is continuing at the Port of Milford Haven following an oil pollution incident at the Valero Pembroke Refinery.
Valero have today estimated that up to 7.5-10m³ of heavy fuel oil had leaked overnight on 2/3rd January from a pipe connecting the jetty to the refinery but that by first light the leak had been contained.

“As soon as the incident was reported, just after midnight, we instigated our well-rehearsed oil pollution plan in which we (Milford Haven Port Authority) have delegated command for the on-water clean-up of oil. Multiple agencies including Natural Resources Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council, Maritime Coastguard Agency and Valero have been working with us since early hours on 3rd January to survey, clean-up and put in place measures to protect the environment and wildlife.

Milford Haven: Oil clearly visible in the water (Pic: MHPA)

“The MCA are supporting the incident response through the loan of equipment to supplement our own assets. The MCA are using their contracted surveillance and verification aircraft and the images provided by this equipment have assisted the teams to locate any surface oil, its direction of travel and dispersal. The Port’s pollution vessel ‘Sea Sweep’ has patrolled and collected some surface oil; however most of the oil has naturally dispersed and the MCA report from this morning’s flight has confirmed this.
Mid and West Wales Fire Service has also assisted with the loan of drone equipment.

“Booming is in place at Sandy Haven and teams are deploying booms around the Gann estuary near Dale, today.

“Currently there have been sightings of oil on shore at Dale and Musselwick Bay. A clean-up operation is underway and agencies will continue to monitor the surrounding shoreline over the coming days.”

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales said: “Our priority continues to be to reduce the impact of the oil on the local environment. We have officers positioned in key locations across the Milford Haven Waterway surveying for signs of pollution washing onshore.

“The booms installed yesterday and this morning will remain in place until we are confident that the risk to wildlife and the sensitive saltmarshes has passed.

“A full investigation is underway into how the oil entered the estuary and the findings of this will be shared once concluded.”

Members of the public are asked to be aware, avoid any beached oil if they discover it (particularly if they have dogs) and contact the Natural Resources Wales incident hotline on 03000 653000 if they become aware of any pollution on shore or see any birds they believe may be showing signs of oil.

Sandy Haven: Work men arrived to deploy boom across creek on Thursday

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Dale Road: Several have minor injuries after two vehicle accident

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EMERGENCY SERVICES are attending a two-vehicle road traffic accident on the B4327 Dale Road.

Two fire crews from Haverfordwest as well as police were called at around 3pm today (Aug 16).

A van and a car are involved.

Avoid the area at the present time

The Herald understands that several people are being treated for minor injuries.

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Tenby: Hotel goes into administration as new owner’s business empire collapses

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A POPULAR Pembrokeshire hotel has gone into administration.

The Fourcroft Hotel in Tenby how faces an uncertain future. It’s parent company Northern Powerhouse Developments reportedly suffered a £14m operational loss last year.

The 40-bedroomed hotel, which had been in the ownership of the same family for over 70 years, was bought by Northern Powerhouse Developments for an undisclosed sum in January 2017.

New boss Gavin Woodhouse said at the time: “This is the first of four hotels we are acquiring and opening in South Wales to complement our existing hotels up and down the coastline of the United Kingdom.”

“The Fourcroft will be the sister hotel to the Llandudno Bay Hotel and Spa and part of the group’s premier hotel collection.

“We are keen to compliment the local businesses and hope to be part of the future success of Tenby and the surrounding areas.”

NPD was founded by Gavin Woodhouse to focus on investment in the leisure and tourism industry.

According to ITV News, at the High Court hearing, Justice Alastair Norris was told that Woodhouse had been withdrawing tens of thousands of pounds from a bank account he had kept secret from administrators.

Below: Video by The Guardian regarding the missing millions which have plagued Gavin Woodhouse’s businesses

Appointment of Administrators

In the High Court of Justice

Court Number: CR-2019-005297

FOURCROFT HOTEL (TENBY) LIMITED

(Company Number 00772050)

Nature of Business: Hotels and similar accommodation

Registered office: Unit D2 Elland Riorges Link, Lowfields Business Park, Elland, HX5 9DG

Principal trading address: The Croft, Tenby, SA70 8AP

Date of Appointment: 8 August 2019

Names and Address of Administrators: Philip Francis Duffy (IP No. 9253) and Sarah Helen Bell (IP No. 9406) both of Duff & Phelps Ltd, The Chancery, 58 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 1EW

Further details contact: The Joint Administrators, Tel: 0161 827 9000. Alternative contact: Chloe Chan, Email: Chloe.Chan@duffandphelps.com

Ag JG50885

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Coastguard call-out after missing cliff climbers fears

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EMERGENCY services were called to the Stack Rocks area on Thursday August 15, following concerns for the safety of two climbers.

The emergency services were called following fears over the safety of some climbers when climbing gear had been found at the top of the cliff near Bullslaughter Bay, with the owners nowhere to be seen.

At 9.11pm, Tenby Coastguard rescue team, St Govan coastguard rescue team, Tenby Lifeboats RNLI ALB, Angle Lifeboat RNLI ALB and Coastguard rescue helicopter 187 were called to search for possible missing persons in the vicinity of Stack rocks.

Tenby’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched just after 9pm and made best speed towards the scene, 10 miles west of Tenby, while Tenby and St Govans Coastguard rescue teams and Coastguard rescue helicopter 187 also made their way.

An RNLI spokesman said: “Once on scene, the volunteer crew began their search from Stackpole Head towards Bullslaughter Bay.

“With darkness fast approaching, it was decided to launch Angle all-weather lifeboat so that the search for anyone in difficulty could be widened.

“Sometime later, the helicopter spotted some climbers and directed Angle lifeboat to their position, and, while speaking to them, they confirmed it was their climbing gear and that they were in no difficulty.

“All units stood down and returned to their respective stations, with Tenby lifeboat arriving back on station at about 12.15am.”

H M Coastguard Tenby, posting on Facebook, added: “Coastguard and RNLI were quickly on the scene with the Coastguard officers searching from land along the coastline and RNLI lifeboats commencing a water search.

“Once Coastguard rescue helicopter 187 arrived on scene they managed to quickly locate two climbers using FLIR [Forward-Looking Infra-Red].

“Angle RNLI was then directed to the persons and made contact with the climbers and confirmed that the equipment found belonged to them and that they did not require assistance.”

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