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Crew rescued after fishing boat broke down at sea



A DRAMATIC rescue took place off the coast of Pembrokeshire on Monday night after a fishing boat failed to arrive at port at the expected time.

This led to a search using both lifeboats and a helicopter.

The details were provided by the RNLI. A spokesperson said: “Angle lifeboat was tasked at 8:20pm on Monday night, to search for a vessel that had been reported overdue.

“The vessel, a 20ft pleasure fishing vessel with two persons onboard, was last seen at 8:30am that morning, and had failed to return ashore at 4pm as expected.

“Dale Coastguard rescue team had initially been tasked to search the shoreline and local pontoons however nothing was found.

“The coastguard had made multiple attempts to contact the vessel on VHF, spoken to other boats in the area and issued a PanPan broadcast with no success.

“With the vessel now over four hours overdue, and with no indication of where the missing boat could be, the all-weather lifeboat was requested to search the north shore within the haven, and then proceed out to Grassholm island to conduct a search. At this time, St David’s all-weather lifeboat and Coastguard rescue helicopter R187 had also been tasked to assist in the search.

“Whilst the lifeboat was passing Skokholm island, new information was received. The two casualties had finally been able to dial 999 and speak to the coastguard, where their position was then able to be obtained. With the position plotted, some 10 miles south of the lifeboats current position, both the lifeboat and helicopter altered course and best speed to the reported position. Whilst on route to the position, the lifeboat crew used the radar to pinpoint a target which matched up with the information that was given by the casualty vessel.

“With the lifeboat just a few miles from the missing boat, the casualties fired a red distress flare, which was then used to confirm that this target was in fact the casualties. “The coastguard helicopter was first to locate the vessel, they provided illumination via searchlights until the lifeboat arrived alongside. Once alongside, it was established that both persons were safe and well, and that they had broken down at around 2pm, and had been adrift for nearly 8 hours without any way of calling for help. A tow was connected, and the vessel was towed back to Gelliswick beach, arriving safely ashore at midnight.

“With the boat now back on the beach, the lifeboat was stood down to return to station, arriving back on the slip and closing down by 12:15am.”


Bluestone invests £30m into its Pembrokeshire resort to expand facilities



BLUESTONE NATIONAL PARK RESORT is investing £30million to expand its facilities and further support its efforts in meeting high environmental and sustainable standards that protects and enhances the local area and community.

The multi-million-pound investment projects at the luxury holiday destination include the launch of 80 new platinum lodges, transformation of a disused 19th century mill into a heritage restaurant, and development of an 11-hectare solar farm.

As well as enhancing guest experience, the exciting developments are set to boost the Pembrokeshire economy, with the new lodges alone estimated to increase visitor spend in the area by £1million a year.

This is in addition to the local employment opportunities and £1.5million injection that Bluestone brings to the local economy each year.

Around 250 jobs have been sustained during the construction phase of the platinum lodges and a further 100 operational jobs will be created once they open to guests. These figures add to the 800 people that Bluestone currently employs.
Bluestone’s Director of Sustainability, Marten Lewis, said: “Our ‘Free Range Future’ movement is at the heart of everything we do to ensure all our investments and initiatives benefit the local community and environment.

“It was key for us to channel this ethos through our latest investments, which have demonstrated our commitment to furthering our green credentials and making sure our environmental footsteps are as light as possible.

“Sustainable building practices have formed a huge part of construction of these projects, such as the platinum lodges which have been built upon the principles of biophilic design to bring elements of the natural world into the modern designs. Once complete, they will be heated by air source heat pumps.

“Guests are set to benefit from these major milestones coming to life as we open the doors to our highly anticipated Black Pool Mill restaurant and platinum lodges this month.”

Black Pool Mill is set to launch this week (Friday 19th May), after a £3million investment transformed the disused 19th century mill into a rustic heritage restaurant.

Designed to incorporate the mill’s original features and centuries-old architecture, chefs will create seasonal menus that are inspired by Pembrokeshire’s warm microclimate, rich soil and clear seas. They will strive to use locally sourced or foraged ingredients, to provide a unique and authentic local dining experience.

The family-run company has also invested £3million into the creation of an 11-hectare solar farm, which is part of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and become net zero by 2040. The farm is set to generate 3.2 megawatts of electricity a year and has a lifespan of up to 40 years.

Bluestone’s chief executive, William McNamara, said: “The addition of the solar farm allows us to put money into a more sustainable future for Pembrokeshire, something we are incredibly passionate about at Bluestone.”

A large proportion of the investment has gone towards the development of 80 new Platinum Lodges on the resort which have been built in line with the company’s environmental values.

The lodges will offer new levels of comfort and luxury living with sunrooms, designated outdoor areas, picturesque surroundings, and ‘cwtch’ rooms to accommodate groups up to eight people.

Mr McNamara added: “All three projects are set to bring a boost to the local community, and being able to create so many jobs from these has been at the heart of driving forward these projects. At Bluestone, we’re always aiming to give something back to the community, and we’re delighted to be able to do that while building on the future of rural Pembrokeshire.”

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First Pembrokeshire beach-side Changing Place facility opened



AN IMPORTANT facility supporting disabled access to Pembrokeshire’s Blue Flag beaches has been opened in time for the summer season.

As part of Pembrokeshire County Council’s commitment to improving facilities and access to opportunities across the County, a Changing Place and Family Room has been developed at Whitesands beach, St Davids.

This will improve inclusivity at this popular destination and allow those who may otherwise not be able to visit due to lack of facilities to accommodate their needs to enjoy the area.

A Changing Place facility has more space and essential equipment including a height adjustable, adult-sized changing bench, a peninsular toilet, privacy screen and ceiling hoist.

Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services Cllr Rhys Sinnett said: “Many people, and especially adults, with disabilities cannot use standard accessible toilets because they require specialised equipment and extra space for themselves and their carers. This means inadequate toilet provision can often be a barrier for days out and limits opportunities to enjoy places in the same way as non-disabled individuals.

“The installation of a Changing Place facility at this location will ensure a fully inclusive opportunity is available for all. It will enhance and expand on the current offering for those persons with a disability at this designated easy access beach, which currently includes a standard accessible toilet and a beach wheelchair hire scheme in the summer.

“This is Pembrokeshire’s first beach-side Changing Place facility, we hope that if this is successful we can identify other areas which would benefit from such a development.”

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Beach Wheelchair and Outdoor Mobility Co-ordinator, Angela Robinson added: “The Changing Place facility is going to make a huge difference to the local community and tourism as we move forward in making the Pembrokeshire Coast more accessible for all.

“The new facilities are a welcome step in the right direction and complement the beach wheelchair and rollator, which are available to hire for free at Whitesands.”

The Family Room is a first for Council owned or managed public convenience sites and recognises the difficulties families can experience using toilet facilities. The room provides a standard size toilet as well as a smaller one aimed at younger children, a baby changing unit and a large space to accommodation pushchairs.

The redesign and redevelopment of the existing building also includes enhancements to the interior and exterior and installation of a water refill station.

Access to the Changing Places toilets is available for those who require the use of this specialised equipment. A key card can be collected from Whitesands Beach House Café, the Car Parking Attendant on site or Oriel Y Parc Visitor Centre in St Davids, during operational hours.

The project has been part funded by the Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basics Fund 2022-2023 to improve the visitor experience across Wales and match funded by Pembrokeshire County Council.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, said: “The projects supported through the Brilliant Basics fund make a real difference. Local tourism amenities have a big part to play in making a trip a memorable one. These facilities often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of a visitor’s experience and also benefit those who live in the area.”
More about beach wheelchairs and the other mobility equipment that is available to hire for free can be found online at Pembrokeshire Coast.

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Dragon collaborates with Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal



DRAGON LNG Group has told The Herald it is delighted to announce its charity of the year for the period from April 2023 to March 2024. Following a nomination process within the Dragon team, 14 notable charities from Pembrokeshire were selected, and a vote determined the recipient. The Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal emerged as the chosen charity, garnering an impressive 33% of the votes. Established in 2009, this registered charity operates entirely with the assistance of volunteers. Its primary objective is to raise funds that will be invested in essential facilities and equipment for the Cancer Day Unit in Haverfordwest, where a dedicated team of clinicians and nurses provide invaluable support and healthcare services to cancer patients in Pembrokeshire.

To ensure that the unit’s requirements are met, the charity exclusively supplies equipment that is specifically requested by the hospital staff. This year, the Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal successfully replaced 12 treatment room chairs with brand-new, highly adaptable chairs at a cost of £36,000. These chairs are designed to provide enhanced comfort to patients during their treatment. Additionally, the charity recently procured a state-of-the-art ‘vein finder’ device, significantly reducing the stress and pain associated with cannulation. Ongoing support from the charity includes funding for skills development in haematology, as well as financial assistance for a counselling service catering to cancer patients.

In addition to their work within the unit, the charity has also launched a dedicated website,, aimed at providing a wealth of information to cancer patients in Pembrokeshire. The website covers topics such as financial matters, transportation, access to information, and much more.

Dragon’s Social and Wellbeing Committee recently welcomed Bernie George and Margaret Bond to the Dragon family, offering an opportunity to discuss the charity and familiarise themselves with Dragon’s fundraising plans for the upcoming year. One of the key events on the calendar is the second charity golf day, scheduled for Friday, 28th July.

Margaret Bond, Chairperson for the Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal, expressed gratitude, stating, “As a charity, we are immensely grateful that Dragon LNG has chosen us as their charity of the year. This support and the funds raised will help us to continue providing assistance to patients during such a difficult and stressful period in their lives. Both the staff and patients find comfort in the fact that, in consultation with them, we prioritise meeting specific needs and supplying the latest personal equipment, which is crucial in preventing infections. We heavily rely on the input from the unit’s staff and the patients’ feedback when making any purchases.”

Simon Ames, Managing Director of Dragon, proudly commented on the commitment shown by the Dragon team, saying, “I am extremely proud of the staff at Dragon for their unwavering support within the community and the passion they demonstrate for our chosen charities and fundraising events. Cancer has impacted almost all of our lives, whether directly or indirectly through our loved ones. Currently experiencing it within my own family, I am acutely aware of the devastating effects it can have. This is why supporting patients and assisting them in overcoming the immense challenges they face is of paramount importance.”

For further information about the Withybush Hospital Cancer Day Unit Appeal, please visit their website at or contact them via telephone on 01646 698736.

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