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Angle lifeboat station now seeking crew from across the water in Milford Haven

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FEARS have been expressed locally that the station – one of the busiest in west Wales – could be downgraded in favour of activities being run from Milford Haven.

Earlier this month, an RNLI spokesperson said: “It is becoming increasingly challenging for the RNLI to sustain operations at Angle Lifeboat Station due to its remote location and declining population.

“Since 2012, a local operating procedure has been in place for Angle’s all-weather lifeboat to collect crew from Milford Haven when attending incidents to ensure adequate crewing levels.

“The RNLI has recently provided extra support to crew based in Milford Haven, developing more infrastructure and dedicated training for volunteers.

“Angle’s all-weather lifeboat is currently based on a swing mooring to ensure it can be launched quickly and effectively in an emergency, due to limited amount of shore crew with daytime availability at Angle.

“Supplementing this arrangement, the RNLI has been operating from Milford Haven three days a week in order to maintain our lifesaving effect. We are working with Milford Haven Port Authority with a view to extending this arrangement to a 24/7 service for a three-to-six-month trial.

“We will still require the services of the Angle RNLI volunteer crew, but continue to review the situation in order to ensure the long-term viability of the station.

“The RNLI is committed to ensuring an effective lifesaving effect in the Cleddau Estuary and surrounding area and is grateful to Milford Haven Port Authority for their ongoing support.”

As part of a recruitment drive, Angle RNLI has now said on social media: “It is becoming increasingly challenging for the RNLI to sustain operations at Angle Lifeboat Station, therefore an exciting opportunity has arisen as we are recruiting volunteer lifeboat crew from Milford Haven.

“The RNLI has been operating from Milford Haven three days a week in order to maintain our lifesaving effect. We are working with the Milford Haven Port Authority with a view to extending this arrangement to a 24/7 service for a trial period.”

The post links to an RNLI recruitment page seeking all weather lifeboat crew members, which says: “This role will help us save lives at sea by ensuring that our lifeboats are in a state of permanent readiness and crewing the lifeboat on service and exercise, under the command of the coxswain.”

Formed in 1868, the station owes its launch to the generosity of a prominent north England philanthropist, Titus Salt junior, of Bradford.

Angle’s second lifeboat, the Henry Martin Harvey, in 1894, took part in its most famous rescue, of the passengers and crew of the ‘whisky ship’ Loch Shiel.

The day after the rescues, the Loch Shiel began to break up and her cargo – which included 100per cent proof whisky – came ashore at West Angle Bay.

While customs officers quickly came to claim the whisky, much of it mysteriously disappeared.

Charity

Calls for help over VHF radio may have been a hoax, say RNLI

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THE ANGLE All-Weather Lifeboat was requested to launch on service at 10:23am this morning, Monday (July 22).

Following a call to the Coastguard from Milford Haven VTS, the crew were tasked after the VTS operators overheard a female voice calling for help on VHF channel 12.

After narrowing down the transmission to having been received on the Pembroke aerial site, the crew were requested to conduct a search.

Launching at 10:30am, the lifeboat made best speed to the moorings at Hazelbeach, and a hasty search was requested by the Coastguard of any moored vessels. The crew began making their way amongst the moorings, heading up to the moorings off Neyland. With nothing untoward sighted, the crew proceeded to search the moorings off Hobbs Point, Barnlake Point, Burton, Llanion and Rudders Boat Yard.

With nothing found, the Coastguard requested that the crew continue their search up river to Picton Point. The lifeboat continued searching up the western shore encompassing Llangwm before altering course just past Landshipping and searching the eastern shore back down the river, calling in to Lawrenny on the way to check any vessels moored there.

The RNLI said that the search continued back down as far as the Cleddau Bridge.

On Facebook the organisation posted :”Following a thorough visual, communications and radar search the crew were subsequently stood down when no further information or calls had been received.

“The tasking was therefore deemed to be a hoax call.

“The lifeboat was back alongside and readied for further service by 1pm.”

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Charity

More than 19k animal lovers call to end greyhound racing in Wales

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IN RSPCA open letter signed by an astonishing 19,715 people which calls for the end of greyhound racing in Wales has been delivered to the First Minister’s office.

The open letter, addressed to Vaughan Gething MS, the First Minister of Wales, stated that the thousands of signatories wish to see a phased end to the “outdated practice” in Wales in order to protect the welfare of countless dogs at risk of injury – or worse.

The RSPCA is part of the Cut the Chase coalition – which includes the Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Hope Rescue and Greyhound Rescue Wales – who have long expressed concern about the negative welfare consequences that racing and the greyhound industry has on the dogs involved. The regulated sector’s own figures show that between 2018 and 2023, 2,751 greyhounds died or were put to sleep for reasons other than natural causes or illness. (data covering England and Wales).

Meanwhile, more than 26,500 injuries were recorded from greyhound racing over the same time period*. The latest statistics from the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) – which regulates Wales’ only track – show that the number of dogs involved in racing who died increased by 47% in 2023, further adding to the coalition’s concerns.

Wales could be the first nation in the UK to phase out the activity. Earlier this year, the Welsh Government carried out a 12-week consultation which is considering the future of greyhound racing. The consultation closed in March.

The Welsh Government has yet to publish the outcome of the consultation – and in the meantime dogs at the Valley Greyhounds Stadium in Ystrad Mynach continue to risk death or serious injury due to being knocked over or falling at speeds often in excess of 40mph.

Published results from races and trials at the Valley track, analysed by Greyhound Rescue Wales, shows that, between 3 March and 29 May this year, nine dogs were recorded as “fell” and 15 more were recorded as “knocked over”.

But these stats don’t show the full picture. Injury data from individual tracks and veterinary reports aren’t released publicly, so the exact welfare impact of the dogs who have fallen in races remains unknown.

Billie-Jade Thomas, RSPCA Senior Public Affairs Manager in Wales said: “Greyhound racing is inherently dangerous for the dogs involved. Running at speed around oval tracks causes significant injury to many dogs, and in some cases, the injuries are so severe that it is necessary for dogs to be put to sleep.

“There are only 10 countries in the world – including all UK nations – where commercial greyhound racing still goes on in 2024. But the Welsh Government now has a golden opportunity to commit to phasing out greyhound racing in Wales once and for all, sending an important message to the rest of the UK that they need to act to deliver a better life for greyhounds.

“We’d like to thank everyone who signed our open letter – we were delighted to have such a strong response and have more than 19,000 people support this cause. It really does show the strength of feeling there is about ending greyhound racing, and what we can achieve together for animal welfare.”

At its peak, there were 250 licensed tracks in the UK. Today, only 20* remain, with only one that is unlicensed in Great Britain.

The Cut the Chase coalition has called for greyhound racing to be phased out over the next five years, and remains committed to the welfare of the dogs involved in the industry during this time.

Phasing out greyhound racing in Wales is a major campaign priority for the RSPCA, as the charity marks its landmark 200th anniversary this year. Since its formation in 1824, the RSPCA has changed more than 400 laws for animals.

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Premium outdoor gear band to provide hydration products to lifeguards

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YETI says it is honoured to announce its new partnership with the RNLI, providing its premium Rambler bottles and cups to the charity’s lifeguards at beaches across the UK. 

In addition to providing lifeguards with its premium drinkware, YETI will also be offering RNLI Tundra coolers and Silo Water Coolers to ensure their drinking water remains icy cold throughout the warm summer days. This not only ensures lifeguards’ will have adequate hydration as they patrol the beaches, but it also helps reduce their use of single-use plastic while on duty.

YETI will also be providing support for the RNLI’s fundraising activities throughout the year.

At peak season RNLI lifeguards operate on 240 beaches across the UK and Channel Islands, in 2023 lifeguards saved 86 lives, responded to 14,213 incidents and aided 20,000 people. Some of their duties include carrying out water rescues to those in difficulty, administering first aid and reuniting lost children with their families. 

One of the lifeguard’s key roles is preventing incidents from happening in the first place – lifeguards spend their patrols speaking to the public about how to enjoy a safe day at the beach and what to do if they find themselves in trouble. They will also designate an area of the beach each day using their red and yellow flags which is deemed as the safest place to swim.

Peter Dawes, RNLI Lifeguard Operations Manager, said: ‘We are excited to announce our new partnership with YETI, which will ensure our lifeguards are kept hydrated, and able to carry out their vital lifesaving role on beaches across the UK. As a charity we rely on the support of others, so we are grateful for YETI providing products for our lifeguards but also sharing our water safety messages to their audience. 

“For anyone planning a trip to the coast this summer we would advise staying safe in the sun by using sun protection and staying hydrated, visiting one of our lifeguarded beaches and speaking to our lifeguards about how to enjoy a safe day at the coast.”

“Beaches are where we create some of our best outdoor memories with family and friends, and lifeguards make that possible,” said Bill Neff, Head of Marketing at YETI. “We want to support those who keep us safe with products that will help them do their jobs.”

YETI’s premium products are built for the wild and designed for any adventure. Their drinkware comes in a variety of styles and sizes, perfect for any hydration need – from your morning coffee, afternoon water break or evening cocktail.

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