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Pembrokeshire seal pups return to the sea after making full recovery

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TWO grey seal pups rescued from Pembrokeshire in the Autumn have been released back into the wild, following a spell of care with the RSPCA.

The malnourished pups were initially rescued by Welsh Marine Life Rescue (WMLR) – before being transferred into the care of the RSPCA.

The first pup was rescued from Freshwater West and taken to RSPCA Mallydams Wood wildlife centre, in Fairlight, near Hastings on 14 October. The second – again rescued by WMLR – this time from St Brides near Haverfordwest, was taken to the RSPCA wildlife centre on 5 November.

Caring for seal pups is hard work, particularly in the first few weeks of them arriving at an RSPCA centre. They are fed a ‘rehydrate’ solution and then are moved onto a fish soup within 24 hours – and, to start, are fed five times a day.

At Mallydams Wood wildlife centre the seal pups were nicknamed after ‘His Dark Materials’ characters – Lyra and Lord Faa.

Following their rehabilitation and care the two seals were ready to be released back into the wild and were transferred back to South Wales for their release on 19 December.

RSPCA animal collection officer Ellie West carried out the release along with RSPCA animal welfare officer Andrew Harris.

Ellie said: “It is always the best part of the job when we release wildlife back to where they belong – and for us this is the perfect early Christmas present to see them happily swim off into the sea. Although you can see from the video that one seal – Lyra – was more keen to head back to sea than the other – Lord Faa – who took a little bit more time!

“Thanks to a spell of rehabilitation at our wildlife centre they have been able to put on the right amount of weight and were then fit enough to be released at Port Eynon in the Gower.”

After a busy 2019 seal season Ellie said they would like to thank Welsh Marine Life Rescue (WMLR) for their support.

“We’re so grateful to WMLR, who do incredible work with us in looking out for seals,” she said. “We’re also very grateful to the members of the public who have spotted and reported seals in distress to us.”

Ideally, lone seal pups looking fit and healthy should be monitored from a safe distance for 24 hours. If a seal pup is injured or in distress, the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line should be contacted on 0300 1234 999.

Ellie added: “It’s not unusual to see a seal pup by itself, as their mothers will leave the pups alone very early on in life. If you find a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, monitor it first from a safe distance for 24 hours.

“However, if the mother doesn’t return after 24 hours or the pup appears distressed, injured or unwell, or is on a busy public beach, our 24-hour emergency line can be reached on 0300 1234 999. Please always stay at a safe distance and keep dogs well away – seals can have a very nasty bite.”

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Pembroke Dock: Two in hospital following Fort Road car accident

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EMERGENCY SERVICES dealt with what has been described by a witness as a “horrific car accident” in the Pembroke Dock area on Wednesday night (Jun 12).

A 23-year-old woman, driving a black BMW, travelled down Fort Road at speed, hit a low wall, catapulting the vehicle some considerable distance across a picnic area. The vehicle ended up irreparably damaged on the beach – which was luckily not in use at the time – landing next to the old Cambridge Gun Tower.

No other vehicles seem to have been involved, police said.

The driver has been arrested but remains in hospital, one passenger is in a critical but stable condition, in Cardiff, and a second passenger sustained only minor injuries.

A spokesperson for Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called at 10.45pm on Wednesday night (Jun 23), to reports of a road traffic accident near the Fort Road car park in Pembroke Dock.

“We attended the scene with one rapid response vehicle, two emergency ambulances and our Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service.

“Two people were taken to University Hospital Wales, Cardiff for further treatment.”

The police are appealing in the media for information following the crash.

An official statement from the police reads as follows: “We were called to Fort Road, Pembroke Dock, at around 10.45pm on Wednesday night to reports of a single-vehicle collision. Ambulance and fire service also attended.

“A 19-year-old man was taken to the Heath Hospital in Cardiff and remains in a critical but stable condition.

“A second passenger attended hospital for minor injuries but has since been discharged. A 23-year-old woman was arrested, and currently remains in hospital.

“Anyone who witnessed the collision but who has not yet spoken to us should get in touch by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, visiting our website, or calling 101.

UPDATE: 24.06.2021, 15:47HRS

On Thursday (Jun 24) said that the female who was arrested was de-arrested because of the need for medical treatment, and is “no longer under arrest at this time.”

The police also added that their investigation was “still active”.

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Pembrokeshire call handler helps deliver Llanelli couple’s new baby

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A 999 CALL HANDLER from Pembrokeshire has helped deliver a Llanelli couple’s baby.

Father-of-two Chris Bassett, from Hook, answered the call from the Trust’s Clinical Contact Centre in Carmarthen, and whose instructions on loudspeaker enabled the pair to deliver their 8lb 1oz new arrival safely.

Thanks to Chris, Troy Smith, 34, and partner Abigail Jones, 33, delivered baby Arabella Dilys Smith in the bedroom of their Llanelli home.

Troy said: “I’ve never felt adrenaline like it but I knew I had to focus on the situation for Abigail and the baby’s sake.

“It all happened so quickly, but Chris’ voice on the other end of the phone kept us calm.”

Abigail, a teacher at Ysgol Carreg Hir in Briton Ferry, went into labour at around 10.00pm on Thursday, June 3, and made a trip to hospital, where nurses confirmed she was in the early stages.

The couple returned to their Pwll home, but their soon-to-be daughter had other ideas.

Troy said: “At around 4.30am, Abigail developed a lot of pain and said she had an urge to push.

“I thought, ‘Right, this is happening’ and phoned an ambulance because I knew I’d be delivering the baby right there and then.”

It was Chris, a former RAF Aerospace Systems Operator, who picked up the call in the early hours of Friday, June 4.

The 29-year-old, who has been with the Welsh Ambulance Service for 18 months, said: “As soon as I answered the call, it was obvious that Troy and Abigail were in distress, as anyone would be in that situation.

“The priority was to get Abigail in a comfortable position to deliver the baby safely.

“For me, it was about giving them clear instructions while trying to keep them both calm.”

Troy added: “I just did what came naturally. When you’re in that situation, you just do it.

“As soon as Arabella came, I felt this wave of relief and I just couldn’t believe how gorgeous she was.

“Chris was so professional and handled the situation really well.

“He gave us all the information and kept us calm.”

Ambulance crews arrived soon after, and took Abigail to Carmarthen’s Glangwili General Hospital, where she was treated for shock before being discharged the following day.

Abigail said: “The whole thing was petrifying because I just never expected to be having the baby at home, but we’re so grateful to Chris for helping us to deliver Arabella safely.”

Chris added: “In your role as a 999 call handler, you’re helping people in their darkest hour, but I’m just glad this call had a happy ending.

“This is the third baby I’ve helped to deliver during my time at the ambulance service, but the first one I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

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Covid causes partial school closure at Haverfordwest High VC

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A PARTIAL school closure is in force today at Haverfordwest High VC school after a pupil in year 9 has tested positive for coronavirus.

All students in year 9 must stay at home , isolate and await further instruction while the school completes all of the necessary Track and Trace processes.

In a statement released by the school, they said: “We have been informed that a Year 9 pupil has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We wish them a speedy recovery.

“As a precautionary measure and to enable us to complete all of the necessary Track and Trace processes, the school will be closed to Year 9 Pupils today.

“The school remains open to all other year groups.

“Until further notice, Year 9 students should stay at home and isolate until further instructions are given. Lessons for all other year groups will continue as usual. Unless your child is in Year 9 they should attend school.”

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