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Sixteen year old skipper’s heart-break over lost trawler

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EXCLUSIVE by Matthew Bearne

 

THE PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD has spoken exclusively to the skipper of the a Milford-registered fishing boat, who was dramatically rescued along with the rest of his crew last week.

The Cesca, a 16 metre trawler,sank off north Wales on Thursday (Feb 12).

The vessel ran into difficulties off The Llyn Peninsula, but despite the best efforts of the crew and coastguard, she finally sank at around 2330HRS.  The four-man crew, who had abandoned ship, was airlifted off the life-raft in difficult conditions. After a check-up in Bangor hospital, they were released the same night.

Sixteen-year-old Jake Bowman-Davies, the youngest fully-qualified skipper in the British Isles, talked of his efforts to save the boat after she started taking on water on passage from Milford Haven to grounds off Conwy.

He told The Herald: “At ten o’ clock the bilge pumps suddenly started running flat out.  I put the auxiliary pumps on and called the coastguard, requesting assistance and pumps.  They told me to report the boat’s bearing and position every ten minutes, which we did.”

Skipper Bowman-Davies added: “I aimed the boat at land, so I could beach her as a last resort.  We started taking on water fifteen miles out, and we got within four miles of the coast before the helicopter turned up with the pumps.  They asked us to alter our course to 210 degrees so they could lower the equipment down to us.”

Sank: The Cesca

Sank: The Cesca

“By this point the engine had failed due to the leak, and the boat had reached the point of no recovery, so we told the helicopter crew that we were abandoning ship.’

Jake described jumping off the boat in the dark in force 8 winds as ‘the scariest moment of my life”

“It broke my heart to leave the Cesca.  She had been in the family since I was ten.  I did everything I could to save her, but at the end of the day the safety of the crew comes first,” he added.

The owner of the Cesca, Jake’s father Timothy Bowman-Davies, praised the Seafish Training scheme.  Both Jake and leading hand Nathan Edmundson (23) hold their 16.5 metre skippers’ tickets, and the other crew, Luke Lane and twenty-year-old Dai Crofts, have completed all their mandatory certification.

“What they learned on the Sea Survival Course definitely contributed to their safe recovery.  Without this training the outcome could have been disastrous,’ he said, before thanking the rescue services for their ‘speedy response and professionalism.’

‘I’m so relieved to have my son and crew home safely.  Without these institutions in place seamen of the United Kingdom would run a far greater risk,” he added.

The cause of the the Cesca’s sinking remains unknown.  However, Jake believes that the boat hit a submerged object in the water.  “The helicopter crew told me that they could see something sticking out of the side of the boat.  However, I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly what happened,” he said.

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Community backs fundraiser to help injured Pembrokeshire paramedic

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OVER six thousand pounds have been raised to support a local paramedic who was badly injured in a road traffic collision involving a motorbike and a car last Sunday (Jan 29).

Sean Luby, has served as a paramedic for more than three decades.

The Pembrokeshire Herald has been told that he was on his way to work the night shift when his Honda motorbike was involved in a collision with a grey Audi A3 car on the A4076 near the Horse and Jockey public house. The road was closed for several hours.

His condition is now critical but stable after undergoing a 12-hour operation yesterday on Friday (Feb 3), with more surgery expected soon.

His colleagues have set up a JustGiving to support Sean’s family through this difficult time and to help cover their travel and accommodation costs during Sean’s stay in hospital.

Marco Siso, who set up the appeal along with fellow DAV paramedic Simon Clark said: “The response has been really overwhelming”

Marco added: “He’s a lovely bloke and this has hit the staff hard. It has brought us together and we want to do what we can to help.”

As a paramedic of such experience Sean has helped save the lives of hundreds of Pembrokeshire people when he has been both on and off duty.

He is currently one of the dedicated ambulance vehicle (DAV) paramedics at Withybush Hospital, working primarily with the maternity and paediatric services.

Dyfed-Powys police is asking anybody who witnessed the collision, on the on the A4076 Steynton Road, Milford Haven at about 5.10pm on Sunday January 29, to get in touch.

Witnesses can contact police by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DP-20230130-274.

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Business

Site visit for National Park planners considering caravan park improvements

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NATIONAL PARK planners, expected to allow officers to approve an application to relocate caravans in a caravan park, will instead attend a site visit there.

Huw Pendleton, of Celtic Holiday Parks, had applied for a change of use of land for the siting of nine relocated static caravans and associated infrastructure improvements at Meadow House Holiday Park, Summerhill.

The application, before the February meeting of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s Development Management Committee, had been recommended for delegated approval by officers if a string of conditions were met.

Delegated approval for the application at the 200-pitch site bordering the national park was mooted despite Amroth Community Council objecting to the application; recommending refusal.

A report for planners said 47 static pitches were previously permitted under a change from 55 touring pitches; nine of these static pitches now being proposed for relocation to an area of land within the holiday park.

It stated the overall number of pitches within the site is not proposed to be increased.

Correspondence had been received which raises concerns on the privacy impact from the proposed static caravans on existing residential properties, as well as the potential for noise and disturbance from occupiers of the site.

It was recommended for delegated approval with a string of conditions including the completion of a Section 106 agreement.

At the February 2 meeting, concerns were raised by neighbour Dorian Evans on amenity grounds, and by local county councillor Alec Cormack, who asked for deferment pending a site visit, saying there would be a “significant impact” on neighbouring properties, which was disputed by agent Gerald Blain.

Following a proposal by Councillor Simon Hancock, members agreed to attend a site visit.

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Wales 10 – Ireland 34: Clinical Ireland outfox wasteful Wales

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RUGBY is often described as a game of inches, where the tiniest errors significantly affect games’ outcomes. That was the case on Saturday, where Ireland won convincingly by making fewer unforced errors than Wales.

As a contest, the game was all but over in the first 25 minutes. Ireland did nothing flash, nothing extraordinary. They were just better at the basics. It’s what you’d expect when the first-ranked team in the world play the ninth.

Conceding a try after two minutes was a bad start, but again and again thereafter, Wales either coughed the ball up or conceded penalties in clutch positions.

Ireland’s game management showed the confidence of being a settled group under a single coach with a defined game plan. Ireland’s players constantly worked off the ball to close gaps and shut off running lines. The Irish slowed down the Welsh ball and applied pressure with clinical precision. The Irish scrum and lineout gave the visitors’ backline time to play.

Whatever the Welsh game plan was before Wayne Pivac left as the coach (answers on a postcard for that one), on Saturday, Wales showed signs of trying to create a pattern of play based on phase play creating the space to allow Wales’s backs to punch through stretched defensive formations. However, a plan is only as good as its execution. And Wales repeatedly created good positions only to make sometimes desperately disappointing mistakes.

Twice Wales had the throw near the Irish line, and twice Irish forwards picked off the ball. On another occasion, Wales went long at the lineout in their half, only for the ball to land on the Irish side. Add that to a crooked throw in a promising position, and Wales lost momentum at crucial stages.
Ireland stormed into an early lead with their first attack ending with Number Eight Doris smashing his way over from close range. It got worse six minutes later when James Ryan scored with almost a carbon copy play.

Wales’s best chance of the opening quarter came when Irish full-back Hugo Keenan got to a loose ball over the Irish line before Welsh winger Rio Dyer.

Although Biggar got the home side off the mark with a penalty, within minutes, a telegraphed pass ended in the hands of Lowe, who streaked over unopposed for Ireland’s third try.

24-3 down soon became 27-3 following another Sexton penalty following Welsh indiscipline at the breakdown. Realistically, that score ended the game. However, in the half’s dying moments, Wales again applied pressure. Jac Morgan, who had a good game in a losing cause, crossed the Irish line only to be held up by a strong Irish defence.

It looked grim at half-time. Wales had been disorganised and disjointed, while every time the Irish got the ball in the Welsh half, they looked like they would come away with points.

Whatever Warren Gatland said at half-time got the Welsh players’ attention.

Wales came steaming out of the blocks in the second half, looking better organised and less frantic. Good phase play opened a gap in the Irish midfield, and Liam Williams sped through the gap to touch down near the posts, making Biggar’s conversion a formality. Wales continued to work through the phases, and only an uncharacteristically poor pass from Justin Tipuric spoiled a good chance for Rio Dyer to get a clear run at the Irish line.

Wales still tried to keep up the pressure but lacked accuracy at key moments when cooler heads might have produced more. As if that wasn’t bad enough, with fifteen minutes of normal time to go, Liam Williams was – maybe a little unluckily – yellow-carded for making contact with the ducking, bobbing and weaving Jonny Sexton’s head.

The man advantage was all Ireland needed to break Wales’s stranglehold on the match. They kept kicking for space behind the Welsh midfield and used Bundi Aki as a midfield battering ram to keep the Welsh players tied in at the breakdown. With Wales stretched and gaps appearing in the defensive live, Van der Flier had the simplest of tasks to add a fourth try for Ireland.

As the clock ticked down – and with Wales 34-10 down – the Irish pressed for the score that would give them a record win in Cardiff. Wales tried again to break out for a consolation score, more in hope than expectation, and it was all Ireland when the final whistle blew.

Warren Gatland said he was “strangely not that disappointed” after the game.

The Wales coach said: “The things I’m disappointed with are things we can put right: the slow start and giving away needless penalties. When you look at the game we put ourselves in positions we could’ve taken advantage of. We can take away the positives, look at our second half performance and improve on that.”

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