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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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Entertainment

Save the dates: Classic car shows in Pembrokeshire

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THE FIRST of the Summer season of the Classic Car Shows in aid of the Paul Sartori Foundation took place at the Commons Car Park, Pembroke recently.

Organised by Malcom Powell and friends, the show was opened by the Mayor of Pembroke, Ann Mortenson, accompanied by the Ward Ten Withybush fundraiser Ellie Neville.

The rest of the shows are follows

Wednesday 5th June at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 19th June at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 3rd July at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 17th July at the Plough Inn, Sageston

Wednesday 14th August at the Cresselly Arms

Wednesday 18th August at the Plough Inn

All events are at 4pm, except for the final show of the year on Saturday 14th September at the Plough Inn Sageston which starts at 2 30pm.

Pictured is the first show of the year at the Commons,Pembroke.

Pic-Martin Cavaney

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Charity

Royal celebration at Buckingham Palace marks RNLI’s 200th anniversary

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HIS MAJESTY The King has graciously hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace today to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). This prestigious event brought together approximately 2,500 of the RNLI’s dedicated volunteers, staff, and their families.

The garden party, held in the palace’s magnificent grounds, was marked by the presence of an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, showcasing the RNLI’s modern lifesaving capabilities. The event celebrated the remarkable history and ongoing contributions of the RNLI, which has been saving lives at sea since its founding in 1824.

Among those honoured at the event were representatives from Tenby Lifeboat Station and St Davids Lifeboat Station. From Tenby, the delegation included recently retired Coxswain Philip John, along with Michael Lewis, Daniel Young, Graham Waring, and Peter O’Hagan, all accompanied by their partners. Representing St Davids Lifeboat Station were Will Chant, Jestyn Martin, Ffion Rees, Judd Kohler, Ellen Evans, and their respective partners. These individuals were recognised for their exceptional service and dedication to the institution, trading their RNLI yellows for smart attire on this special occasion.

The RNLI, established in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, has grown into a vital organisation dedicated to saving lives at sea. Over its two centuries of operation, the RNLI has saved more than 142,700 lives, thanks to the bravery and commitment of its volunteers and staff. Today, the RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations and provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

His Majesty’s patronage and the garden party at Buckingham Palace underscore the nation’s deep appreciation for the RNLI’s invaluable service. The celebration not only honoured past achievements but also highlighted the continued importance of the RNLI’s mission as it looks forward to the future.

For more information on the RNLI’s history and its bicentenary celebrations, please visit the official RNLI website.

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Community

The Big Beer Festival returns to Milford Waterfront

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MILFORD HAVEN is set to host the highly anticipated Big Beer Festival tomorrow at Milford Waterfront. Beginning at 12:00 PM on May 25, the event promises a vibrant celebration featuring an impressive array of real ales, lagers, and ciders, along with a prosecco and Pimm’s bar for those with different tastes.

Local bands will provide live music throughout the day, ensuring a lively atmosphere. Headline act 4th Street will be among the performers, with additional acts including After the Fire, Steve Bartram, Two Suns, Tin Man Revolution, and DJ Robzy. Food lovers can enjoy diverse culinary offerings from The Junkyard Dog and Marcela Mexican Cuisine at the Thornton Motors Streetfood Zone. Entry is £20, which includes four drink tokens and a limited edition glass. Each token can be exchanged for a half pint, a glass of prosecco, or a glass of Pimm’s. The festival will run until 11:00 PM.

This event is part of the continued partnership between Milford Waterfront and the Milford Haven Round Table. This collaboration supports a calendar of events throughout the year, raising funds for local causes and creating enjoyable experiences for the community and visitors. Upcoming events include the Milford Haven Carnival on July 6 and the Fireworks Extravaganza on November 5.

As well as local petrol station company The Ascona Group, Howden, a global insurance intermediary group, is a key supporter of the festival. As a deluxe sponsor, Howden is donating £500 towards the event. Gary Stevens, Regional Managing Director, expressed his delight in supporting the Milford Haven Round Table, emphasizing the event’s significance as a fantastic day out for the bank holiday weekend and a means to support the local community.

Milford Haven Round Table, the UK’s largest Round Table with 30 active members, organizes this festival to give back to the local community. All funds raised support local charities, groups, and individuals, including popular free entry events like the town’s annual carnival and fireworks display.

For more details, visit the official event page.

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