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Two coastguard teams rescue woman injured whilst jumping at The Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy



TWO PEMBROKESHIRE coastguard teams were called out over the weekend to assist with a medical evacuation at The Blue Lagoon near Abereiddy on Bank Holiday Monday (Aug 29).

A helicopter was also called in but had to divert to a more serious incident, HM Coastguard said.

St Davids and Fishguard teams assisted a female casualty had sustained a possible lower back or pelvis injury after jumping into the lagoon from height.

HM Coastguard Fishguard said on social media that the incident happened at 16:00 HRS, and an off duty paramedic and nurse were able to provide immediate care until the arrival of the team from St David’s. The second coastguard team’s arrival was followed by an an Ambulance from Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust turning up to transport the injured party to hospital.

HM Coastguard Fishguard added: “A coastguard helicopter was also tasked but had to be diverted to another incident. The teams then prepared the casualty for a stretcher extraction and carried her out to a waiting ambulance for transport to hospital.”

This is the third time this month that there has been an injury connected with with jumping into the lagoon. The two previous casualties were taken to hospital by helicopter.

The injured woman is taken on a spinal board to a waiting ambulance (Image HMCG)


Pembrokeshire siblings receive award for saving their father’s life



CAI and Celyn Llewellyn, a brother and sister from Pembrokeshire, have received prestigious recognition at an award ceremony in London.

The pair were awarded a British Heart Foundation Heart Hero Award on 6th December after their father, John, had suffered a cardiac arrest at their home in Fishguard in November last year. John’s life was saved by the quick thinking of his two children who carried out CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

The British Heart Foundation’s Heart Hero Awards is an annual event to honour incredible people who’ve shown remarkable bravery and gone above and beyond to help others while coping with the devastating impact of heart disease. The event celebrates everyone from CPR lifesavers to innovative fundraisers, research champions and healthcare heroes working in the NHS. The ceremony was attended by a star-studded guest list including Pippa Middleton, Vernon Kay and David Seaman, amongst others.

“If it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.”

Cai (19) and Celyn (22) were nominated for the award by their mother, Nicola.

Nicola said, “My husband John was just doing his usual morning workout in our home-made gym. It’s not very often the kids are home on the weekend, but on this particular Sunday morning, Cai and Celyn were making a cooked breakfast when John suddenly staggered into our kitchen. They immediately alerted me to call 999.”

Celyn had realised something was seriously wrong as John was unable to speak or catch his breath, while Cai put his arms around John to help him to the sofa. No sooner than Cai and Celyn had moved John to the sofa, he went limp. Despite no previous experience in CPR, the pair had to jump into action.

Cai said, “It was like a light switch. Dad suddenly was like a dead body next to me on the couch and was no longer in control of himself. Something just clicked inside me – I managed to put him on the floor and cut his t-shirt off to begin CPR.”

Meanwhile, Celyn was aware that the nearest defibrillator to them was at the village hall, situated around 300 yards from their house and sprinted to retrieve it while the family received support over the phone from the emergency operator.

Celyn added: “None of us had ever used a defib before. We didn’t even know we needed a code to access it, but the four-digit code is now etched in my brain. Once I got back with the defibrillator, the next 20 minutes were crucial. Cai was amazing – he was so calm taking on responsibility of using the defibrillator and finding the electrical rhythm with support over the phone from 999. We had to shock him three times in between 20 minutes of CPR, before the fire brigade arrived as first responders.”

It was a long wait for the family as emergency services took over, and he was eventually flown by air ambulance to Morriston hospital in Swansea – over 60 miles from their home on the west coast.

Doctors believe John’s cardiac arrest was caused by a ventricular arrhythmia, and he was fitted with an ICD (Implantable cardioverter defibrillator) a few weeks later. An ICD is a small device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms. The British Heart Foundation continues to fund research into ICD research, to save and improve more lives in Wales and across the UK. In Wales, just one in 20 people survive a cardiac arrest when it occurs outside of a hospital setting.

On receiving the award, the Llewellyn family said were proud to accept recognition while they adapt to what they call their ‘new normal’. John has now been diagnosed with heart failure, and while the incident has had a physical toll on John’s health, he continues to make incredible progress.

John said, “As a family unit, we’ve made so much progress in a year. At Christmas last year we were still so on edge and for months we were all quite scared to leave the house in case something happened. I am still here because Cai and Celyn acted with a maturity and a calmness that has left me just so proud of them.”

Celyn added, “You can sometimes feel alone in this bubble of being impacted by heart failure, but through the BHF we have found a community of people who understand or even share our experience. Information from BHF is available to help us every step of the way through dad’s recovery. We are now encouraging everyone we meet to get CPR training and to find their local defibrillator. If it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.”

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “I’m blown away by the incredible stories of our winners who have shown such courage, resilience, and bravery in the face of heart and circulatory disease.

“These awards are truly heartwarming and make me so proud to be part of Team BHF. Thank you to our judges, hosts, celebrity guests and supporters for creating such a magical evening for the BHF and the heroes we celebrated. We hope the awards inspire others to take action against heart and circulatory diseases – by learning CPR, fundraising, or even donating unwanted goods to one of our stores.

“Our heart heroes are among the 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases. This Christmas, our research is a gift that keeps on living, helping to keep families together and hearts beating for Christmases to come.”

Support the BHF by giving a gift that keeps on living this Christmas:

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Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office wins prestigious national award for its custody visiting



The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys has won a prestigious national Gold award for the quality of its Independent Custody Visiting Scheme.

The Independent Custody Visiting Scheme is a volunteer scheme that is run by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Arising after riots in the 80s centred around public distrust in policing, and in particular the policing of black communities, independent custody visitors (or ICVs) are volunteers who give their time to make unannounced visits to police custody across the UK, ensuring the rights, entitlements and wellbeing of detainees throughout the country.

In Dyfed-Powys, there are currently eighteen volunteers who act as Independent Custody Visitors, and make unannounced visits to police custodies in Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Powys. 

They report their findings to the Police and Crime Commissioner, who in turn holds the Chief Constable to account.

The Independent Custody Visiting Association (ICVA) Quality Assurance Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Old Library, Birmingham on 29 November.

ICVA is the national organisation which supports, leads and represents locally-run custody visiting schemes. Schemes manage teams of independent volunteers who visit those detained in police custody.

There were four graded levels of award, and the Dyfed-Powys Scheme was delighted to have received the Gold standard; meaning their Scheme provides an excellent standard of custody visiting and volunteer management. The Scheme was established in Dyfed-Powys in 2001, and since its roll out, thousands of visits have been made to custody suites across the force area.

Welcoming the award, Dafydd Llywelyn, Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys told The Herald: “I am thrilled to announce that our Independent Custody Visiting volunteer scheme in Dyfed-Powys has been honoured with a prestigious national Gold Award.  This recognition reflects the commitment and dedication of our volunteers and the high standards of custody visiting and volunteer management in our region.

“It is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our community, Dyfed-Powys Police and my Office, reinforcing our commitment to excellence in ensuring the welfare and rights of individuals in Custody.  I would like to congratulate and thank all of our volunteers for their hard work – we are proud of this achievement and will continue our efforts to maintain this gold standard in the service we provide to our community”.

On a blog, published following the awards ceremony to congratulate volunteers, ICVA Chief Executive Katie Kempen said; “I am so grateful for all of your incredibly hard work on the Quality Assurance Framework, in what for many have been quite challenging times.

“At the opening of the assessment window, many of your schemes were still in a period of Covid recovery and getting schemes back up to resilience, recruiting and training new volunteers all over the country.

“As we have moved through the process, many of you have come into post and as well as getting accustomed to your new role have taken on the Quality Assurance Framework too. I am so proud of each and every scheme and their award.

“It hasn’t happened without a commitment to the scheme, to the amazing volunteers and ultimately to the fair and effective treatment of those deprived of their liberty by the state. Thank you all so much.

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Poo would have thought it: 60 of 68 toilets in Pembrokeshire survive the axe



SIXTY of Pembrokeshire’s 68 public toilets will be kept open despite fears many more of them were under threat of potential closure, senior councillors heard yesterday, December 4.

Due to financial constraints, the February meeting of Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet listed 34 of its 68 toilets at potential risk of closure if community asset transfers to town and community councils or other sources of funding weren’t agreed.

Since then, there has been good news for some of the closure-threatened toilets, with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority agreeing to fund 10 coastal facilities for two years, and the county council funding Dale facilities from its car parking budget.

At Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet meeting of December 4, members – along with receiving an update on the situation – considered eight exception requests for toilets at risk of closure from town and community councils who feel they have been disproportionately financially affected.

Cabinet members backed a recommendation to continue to fund Tenby North Beach, with investigation of income-generating opportunities such as charging to use or linking to other sources of funding.

It is also backed Abereiddy’s toilets remaining open until March 31, 2025 while funding avenues are fully explored.

Cwm yr Eglwys has been given a June 30, 2024 date, with the facility at Pwllgwaelod to continue.

An April 8 closure date was backed for several other facilities if funding can’t be found: Carew, Moylegrove, Newgale South, and Nolton Haven (the latter both currently closed for the winter).

Conversations are ongoing for town and community councils to either fund, lease or asset transfer seven facilities, including Newport Parrog.

Facilities at Abercastle, Amroth East, Bryn Road St Davids, Creswell Quay, Kilgetty, and Neyland Marina will stay open until April 8, after which time they will be closed unless funding has been agreed.

An exception was made in the case of Newport Parrog, with an extension to September 30, due to complexities at this site.

A 50 per cent funding offer for Bosherston toilets for two seasons by the National Trust was refused, with an April 8 closure date on the cards.

Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services Cllr Rhys Sinnett said positive progress had been made “in seeking to sustain a network across the county,” with “complex and delicate negotiations with stakeholders”.

Cllr Jon Harvey said he was proud of the work that had gone on, adding: “To get to a situation where we have saved so many through cooperation is extremely positive; 60 of 68 are effectively remaining open, an excellent, excellent result.”

He asked if further negotiations with the “rather wealthy charity” the National Trust could take place over Bosherston, with the possibility of the trust funding the toilets 100 per cent, with Cllr Sinnett agreeing to further discussions.

Cllr Neil Prior said the potential toilet closures were “a difficult decision driven by the funding crisis we’ve been facing,” adding: “Officers and members have worked incredibly hard to get us to this point, nobody wanted to close any toilets.”

Council leader Cllr David Simpson said: “It’s wonderful we’re saving 60 out of 68 toilets, a very reasonable and sensible solution in the end; we might be able wangle a few more to stay open.”

Legal avenues are being explored for two facilities with a view to close Burton and Oriel Y Parc St David’s, with facilities at Marloes village now closed as no alternative funder has come forward.

The decision on the Tenby toilets was welcomed by Mayor Cllr Dai Morgan and local county councillor Sam Skyrme-Blackhall after the meeting.

Tenby Town Council have agreed to fund costs of keeping the toilets open in Upper Frog St, which means that there will be no toilet closures in the town.

Cllr Morgan said: “This is good news for the town, and I am grateful that Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet listened to our strong case.”

Cllr Skyrme-Blackhall praised the decision and thanked the cabinet for their support, adding “Sometimes things take time to sort out, but we have been working hard behind the scenes and I am delighted at the outcome.”

In the north of the county, Cllr Huw Murphy welcomed the news the Pwllgwaelod public toilets will remain open.

“Cwm yr Eglwys toilets (seasonal opening) remains a work in progress but will remain open until at least June 30 while efforts to secure funding to retain permanently are ongoing.”

Pictured: Mayor of Tenby Cllr Dai Morgan and County Councillor Sam Skyrme-Blackhall celebrate on hearing the news Tenby’s North Beach toilets will remain open. Picture: Cllr Skyrme-Blackhall (Image: Tenby Town Council)

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