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RNLI urges coastal visitors to stay safe

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RNLI urges coastal visitors to stay safe As school summer holidays come to an end, patrols on some RNLI lifeguarded beaches will finish tomorrow (Sunday 6 September), but the charity is still providing a lifeguard service on 18 beaches across Wales.

Now members of the public are being urged by the charity to take extra care and be responsible when visiting the beach by knowing their limits and not taking risks.

If intending to use the water people are encouraged to head to one of the 18 lifeguarded beaches in Wales but to maintain social distancing and if that’s not possible, consider spending your day elsewhere. Despite the Coronavirus situation and the challenges posed by lockdown restrictions earlier in the year, the RNLI has worked with local authorities and other partners to provide lifeguards on 177 beaches across the UK this summer.

RNLI lifeguards have adapted to new protocols this season because of the pandemic to protect themselves and the public from the virus.

This has included wearing PPE, enhanced cleaning of equipment and maintaining a two metre distance from others while carrying out their role. 11 beaches in Wales will lower their flags and pack their equipment away for the final time at 6pm on Sunday in what has been a very busy season for RNLI lifeguards, as more people holidayed at home this summer and visited Welsh beaches.

In Wales, beach visitor numbers soared to the highest seen in over a decade in some parts of the country.

Back in June, RNLI lifeguards on Newgale Central beach in Pembrokeshire saved the life of a female who was caught in a rip current. Spotting the lady in distress, lifeguards reached her just before shewent underwater.

In July, on the hottest day of the year, RNLI lifeguards in Swansea rescued 16 people who were caught in rip currents. On the same day at Three Cliffs, Gower, RNLI lifeguards went to the aid of a young boy and his mother who were caught in a flash rip current. Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for Wales, said: ‘It has been an extremely busy summer for RNLI lifeguards with huge numbers of people visiting beaches in the UK.

Our lifeguards have worked really hard and done a fantastic job of keeping people safe at the beach while working in a pandemic. They deserve great credit for the commitment and dedication they have shown. ‘The majority of our lifeguards’ work is preventative so as well as the rescues and incidents they were involved in, they will have stopped many more potentially dangerous incidents before they occurred.’ Chris, continued: ‘We know many people are still on furlough and not holidaying abroad, so it’s likely more people than usual will be visiting the UK coast this September.

If you’re visiting the beach, take note of the safety signage at the entrance, go with a friend or tell someone on the shore where you’re going, and always be aware of the conditions and your own capabilities in the water.‘People walking on the coast should check the weather forecast and tide times before setting out and carry a means of communication.’If you’re planning a visit to a beach or the coast, visit a lifeguarded beach if you can, but wherever you are, please follow this safety advice:

Have a plan – check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
Don’t allow your family to swim alone§  Don’t use inflatables
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 an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

Community

Beach clean highlights tide of plastic pollution

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Preseli MP Stephen Crabb has praised the work of local volunteers after joining them for a beach clean in St Davids.

The clean at Porthlysgi Bay beach was organised jointly between environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy and EcoDewi as part of the Wales-wide Autumn Clean Cymru campaign, with over 15 volunteers litter picking while socially distancing.

EcoDewi is a new ecology and energy group on St David’s peninsula, working to increase the community’s capacity to produce its own, locally-owned sustainable energy.

Between Saturday’s beach clean and visitors piling litter in gateway, over 30 bags were collected. Rubbish included fishing wire, a steel toe cap shoe and plastic bottles, all of which will now be disposed of responsibly. While some litter is left behind on the beach by inconsiderate users, much of the rubbish now comes from the sea, as the tide washes in what has been thrown overboard by some sailing vessels.

Speaking following the clean, Stephen Crabb said: “Pembrokeshire’s beaches are some of the very best in the world, but litter remains a dangerous and unsightly problem. Beach cleans are a good way to protect and learn more about our natural environment and Saturday’s clean was a good example of many hands making light work.

“There have been positive steps by UK and Welsh Governments to reduce the volume of plastic pollution going into our waters, including a ban on microbeads, plastic straws and drink stirrers. But last weekend’s beach clean was a real eye opener and it is clear that more action is needed.

“My thanks to Keep Wales Tidy and EcoDewi for organising an excellent beach clean at one of Pembrokeshire’s hidden gem beaches. Anyone can volunteer for a beach clean and I look forward to taking part in another in the near future.”

Jeremy Wadia of EcoDewi said: “Community collaboration is key to fighting the current ecological and climate crisis, and it’s always great to see people coming together to clean our local beaches which benefits both our marine & land wildlife and of course residents and visitors. Seeing local and regional leaders out on the ground inspiring others to get involved is really important, so we are very grateful to Stephen for joining us at Porthlysgi.”

Mari Williams, Keep Wales Tidy Pembrokeshire officer said:

“It was a brilliant event and great to have so many people turn up to volunteer. We’re all responsible for the health of our oceans, that’s why clean-ups like this are so important and do make a real and lasting difference to our marine environment. Our campaign Autumn Clean Cymru was a chance for us to take a stand and declare that litter is not acceptable.”

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Man arrested at Penally Training Camp for arson and criminal damage

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A 29-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage at the Penally Training Camp.

Police and ambulances services attended the camp last night (Sept 30).

Police said that the man remains in police custody.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said: “We were called last night to reports of a patient needing medical attention at Penally Camp. We responded with one emergency ambulance and one person was transported to Withybush Hospital.”

It is unknown at this time is the man arrested was an asylum seeker or a local person.

He is the third person to be arrested in connection with the camp in recent days.

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Police probe into racist Facebook comments over Penally asylum seekers

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A NEIGHBOURING police force have confirmed that they are investigating grossly offensive comments on a Facebook group that suggest that asylum seekers staying at the MOD Training Camp in Penally should be gassed or shot.

Around 234 asylum seekers—Kurdish Iraqis and Kurdish Iranians—are set to be housed at the camp.

Many of the protesters are locals concerned about their communities after a lack of communication of the arrival of the asylum seekers by the home Office, but South Wales police believe that some of the protests outside the camp have been organised by far-right elements based in Swansea.

Two people have been arrested in connection with protests. One person released without charge, and another, – a well-known right leaning You Tube vlogger from outside the local area has been bailed on the condition he says out of the county.

Some of the shocking posts state: “Run the bastards over”… “Put a bullet in their heads if they can’t respect others” or “Tell your family to keep everything locked up, 250 new thieves, rapist and paedophiles are about to arrive in the area.”

Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has added his voice to the Penally Camp protest campaign. The founder of the English Defence League dubbed the prospect of the camp housing up to 250 asylum seekers as ‘sickening’, which has led to more interest in Penally online.
The Pembrokeshire Herald has engaged Facebook moderators after news articles, which now reach one million people online, were spammed with racist comments. 6,000 comments have already been checked, and hundreds deleted this newspaper can confirm.

A police spokesman said: “South Wales Police is looking into a number of inflammatory posts published on social media concerning the accommodation of asylum seekers at Penally in Pembrokeshire. Users of social media are requested to be mindful of the language used when publishing posts.”

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