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Off-duty RNLI lifeguard helps walker

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Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 10.04.50AN OFF-DUTY RNLI lifeguard – as well as the Coastguard rescue team – raced to the aid of a walker who had broken her ankle on a remote section of the coastal path.

Sam Bailey, Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, became aware of the incident, in which a 66-year-old woman slipped from a stile whilst walking between Pwllglaelod and Fishguard.

Sam, who was off duty on the day and lives about a mile away from the spot, was first on the scene after he cycled to Pwllgwaelod and ran along the path to find the woman in severe pain.

He carried out initial checks on the injured woman and liaised with Milford Haven Coastguard, who had dispatched a land rescue team who arrived shortly after.

Sam and the coastguard team members monitored the casualty while waiting for the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter to arrive and airlift her to hospital.

In the meantime, fellow RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Michael Vincent rushed from the RNLI’s Cardigan base with a trauma bag carrying pain relief and other first aid equipment.

After administering pain relief, Sam and Michael, working with the Coastguard team, used fracture straps and put the woman on a spinal board ready to be winched to hospital when the helicopter arrived shortly after.

Phil Davies, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said: “The incident on Friday, July 15, showed fantastic teamwork and communication between our lifeguard team and the Coastguard rescue teams and the lengths that our lifeguards will go to help those in need.”

Lifeguards in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion are entering their busiest time of the year with schools having broken up for summer.

Eight beaches in Ceredigion and 12 in Pembrokeshire will have a daily lifeguard service throughout the summer holidays, with lifeguards on duty between 10am and 6pm. There is also a daily service on Pendine beach.

This week, lifeguards on a number of beaches in the area carried out rescues and assists where people in inflatables got swept out on offshore winds and were unable to return to shore.

Lifeguard Supervisor Michael Vincent said: “Blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out.

“If you do use them at the beach, then ensure children are closely supervised, keep near the shore, only use them between the red and yellow flags, always follow the lifeguard’s advice, do not take them out in big waves and never use them when orange windsock is flying, as this indicates offshore winds which will blow inflatables further out to sea.

“We encourage those thinking of a trip to the coast over the summer to always visit a lifeguarded beach and if you’re heading into the sea, please respect the water and swim between the red and yellow flags, which have been designated as the safest swimming areas by lifeguards.

“The lifeguards are fully trained in all aspects of beach safety, so if you have any questions please approach a lifeguard who will be more than happy to help or offer expert advice.”

Last year, RNLI lifeguards assisted over 900 people on 32 of Wales’ busiest beaches. This year, the charity has increased the safety patrols to 39 beaches across the Welsh coast.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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