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RNLI urges people not to use the sea for exercise or recreation

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is advising the public that they should not take part in any water based activity on or in the sea, to reduce the risk to the lifesaving charity’s volunteer crews and other emergency services being exposed to COVID-19, and the pressure on their time.

Under normal circumstances, many people would be heading to the coast this weekend to enjoy the Easter bank holiday. Given the current COVID-19 outbreak, the RNLI is urging everyone to follow Government instructions, which are clear: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

While you are allowed out for daily exercise, we do not recommend that this exercise is on or in the sea. Our charity’s lifeboat service is still available but every time a lifeboat crew is called to an incident, it puts additional pressure on RNLI volunteers and other front line emergency services as well as potentially exposing them to COVID-19.

Chris Cousens, Regional Water Safety Lead for the Wales and West, said:

‘We know people who live at the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services. While you could be fully competent and never needed to be rescued, by going out on the water you could encourage others who are less proficient to take part in similar activities.

‘Since lockdown was introduced around the UK coast, our lifeboats have been called out all too often to rescue people. So if you do go for a walk or a run at the coast, please follow the RNLI’s safety advice.’

  • Take care near cliffs – know your route and your limitations
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
  • In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard

Chris added: ‘Our lifeboat crews are still at the ready 24/7 – thanks to their own courage in a time of crisis, and the generosity of our supporters. Sadly, though, we can’t arrange fundraising events, open our shops, or welcome people to lifeboat stations at the moment, which means our ability to fundraise has been severely impacted. This could be the biggest storm the RNLI has ever faced.

‘If people feel compelled to show their support from home, we ask them to help by giving something that keeps our volunteers ready to launch, replaces worn-out kit or helps us repair a lifeboat. To support our lifesavers, go to: rnli.org/donate

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Conservatives hold on to Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat

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THE CONSERVATIVES have held on to their Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat despite Labour closing the gap.

Sam Kurtz will take over the seat from the outgoing Angela Burns who held a majority of 3,400 at the last election.

This time, the gap was just 936 to Labour’s Hassan Riaz who picked up 10,304 votes.

Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell picked up 6,615 votes.

The turnout in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire was slightly up to 52.12% from 51.2% in 2016.

However, with a larger electorate thanks to votes for 16/17-year-olds, the number of votes cast went up by almost 3,000.

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Paul Davies re-elected as Conservatives hold Preseli Pembrokeshire

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PAUL DAVIES has been re-elected to represent the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency.

He won with 12,295 votes, while there were 10,895 votes for Labour’s Jackie Jones.

Plaid Cymru candidate Cris Tomos gained just over 6,000 votes and there were also 1,239 for Reform UK candidate Alan Dennison.

There were over 3000 more votes cast in 2016, down largely in part to the fact that 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote in this election.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received more votes than before while the gap to Labour closed to just 1,400.

After being elected, Paul Davies said he would continue to ‘fight for Pembrokeshire’ and thanked those who had been involved in his campaign.

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Former Cardigan Castle director sentencing delayed

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THE SENTENCING of a former director of Cardigan Castle who has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft totalling over £40,000 has been delayed.

Former director, Jac Davies, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft was due to be sentenced on Wednesday (May 4) at Swansea Crown Court – but has now been delayed.

Davies who held the £40,000 a year post fraudulently obtained £33,098.75 and stole a further £7,932.97 from the award winning restoration project..

Davies held his position at Cardigan Castle from September 2017 to November 2019.

The defendant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining £4,143.20 from the castle on December 21, 2017.

Again Davies admitted to fraudulently obtaining £28,955.55 between February 4, 2019 and November 3, 2019.

Two further charges of theft were also admitted – one charge of  theft from the castle of £1,908.18 between May 2, 2018 and May 24, 2019 and a further charge of theft from Cardigan Castle Enterprises to the sum of £6,024.79.

Dyfed-Powys Police conducted a year long investigation after being contacted by the castle board of directors.

Financial discrepancies were identified during financial monitoring.

An internal investigation was launched and Davies left his position within the castle in October 2019 following a disciplinary process.

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