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Parents warned to take extra care of their families on the beach

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WITH the school summer holidays now in full swing and many families choosing to staycation rather than travel abroad, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Her Majesty’s Coastguard are urging every parent to be aware of the potential dangers and to be beach safe.

The warning comes after it emerged that surfers had saved the life of a non-swimmer being swept out to sea from a Pembrokeshire beach by a powerful rip current.

The female was being carried out to sea off Manorbier, after she rushed into the water to go to the rescue of her two children, who had got into difficulty while body-boarding.

The incident was one of several on the beach in recent days, which saw a total of eight people being rescued by local surfers.

Last year, RNLI lifeguards dealt with more than 1,500 incidents involving rip currents, saving the lives of 95 people caught in them. In Wales lifeguards dealt with 165 incidents involving rip currents last year.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety, said: ‘Our coastline is a fantastic place to spend time together as a family but there are also plenty of potential dangers, especially for those who aren’t fully aware of their surroundings.

‘Rip currents cause most incidents in the water that RNLI lifeguards deal in Wales and across the UK.

‘We are seeing a spike in incidents this summer involving these potentially deadly currents, which move even faster than an Olympic swimmer and can quickly drag people into deeper water away from the shore.

‘It’s important that anybody venturing in or near the sea knows, not just what rip currents are, but how to react if they are caught in one or see someone else in trouble.

‘They are difficult to spot and even the most experienced and strongest swimmers can find themselves caught out so it’s important where possible to use beaches that have lifeguards patrolling on them.’

RNLI Lifeguards: ‘Stay in the
swimming zones

If you find yourself caught in a rip current, try to remember the following key safety advice:

Don’t try to swim against it, you will quickly get exhausted.
If you can stand, wade don’t swim.
If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore
If you can’t swim – FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing
Raise your hand and shout for help.
If you see anyone else in trouble, alert the lifeguards or call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Off-duty Aberdyfi lifeboat crew member Arwel Jones was one of those who sprang into action on Sunday afternoon after his wife spotted someone running in to rescue two teenagers struggling in the water.

Together with some lifeguard friends and former lifeboat crew who happened to be wind and kitesurfing, they pulled the group to safety.

‘They were just so lucky the right people happened to be in the right place at the right time,’ said Arwel. ‘There was even a doctor on the beach by chance, when we got them out of the water.

‘It’s a scary thought but a few seconds here or there and it could have been a very different outcome.

‘On this occasion the current which caught the group out was part of the normal tidal flow in the estuary at Aberdyfi rather than a rip current, but it really highlights the need to be aware of all currents in the beach environment.’

While rip currents are not the only danger at the coast, with tidal cut-offs and inflatables also the cause of many emergency calls, they make up the majority of incidents in the water for RNLI lifeguards and are a major cause of accidental drowning across the world.

The RNLI and Coastguard strongly advise against taking inflatables to the beach and urge people to be aware of the tide times and local hazards to avoid getting into trouble.

Director of HM Coastguard Claire Hughes said: ‘We’ve seen so many times how easy it is to get caught out by the sea.

‘That is why it is important to swim or bodyboard on lifeguarded beaches, stay within your depth, swim parallel to the shore and keep a close eye on friends and family at the beach and in the water.

‘Make sure you are always contactable at the coast by carrying a fully-charged mobile phone and if you get into trouble or see someone else in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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Appeal after woman sexually assaulted on cycle path near Haverfordwest

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POLICE officers in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after a woman was sexually assaulted at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday (May 16).

The woman was walking along the cycle path between Haverfordwest and Tiers Cross when she was approached by a man who threatened and assaulted her, before walking away towards Haverfordwest town.

The male is described as a white male, between 5ft 4 and 5ft 11 tall , normal build with a welsh accent. He has short dark hair, a beard and a moustache, brown eyes, and wearing light blue jeans, navy/dark blue jersey with grey sleeves. Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area between 3.30pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

The cycle path is currently closed while the investigation continues.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler, who is leading the investigation, said “Incidents of this nature are extremely rare in the Dyfed-Powys area. The public may see an increased presence of police officers in the coming days as police investigate the incident. Anyone with concerns or information that could help our enquiries can speak to those officers or contact police. While a man was quickly arrested we would still like to speak to anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the area yesterday afternoon.”

Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police. This can be done online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet endorses STEP Fusion application

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet have today endorsed proposals from Cllr Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) to further progress the nomination of a Pembrokeshire site to host a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) fusion power station in the county.

Working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the proposed site is adjacent to the existing energy facilities on the South Shore of the Haven waterway.

If approved, the facility will initially host research with the ultimate aim of developing this technology which could offer a virtually limitless source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I am pleased my Cabinet colleagues endorsed this important programme of work. The Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years. It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county – and so linked to our focus on climate change (and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation) my team have been exploring whether we can also support the development of clean, green fusion technology.

“It’s very early days in the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site selection process but we’ll provide regular updates as things progress.”

•       STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant;
•       It is a UKAEA programme, currently with £222m funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024: https://step.ukaea.uk/

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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