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Beach visitors urged to be safe as RNLI lifeguard season ends in Ceredigion

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RNLI-rescue-board-1RNLI LIFEGUARDS will finish their daily safety service on the beaches of Ceredigion this weekend.

Lifeguards will lower the flags and pack their equipment away for the final time on Sunday (Sep 4) at New Quay, Llangrannog, Aberystwyth North and South, Tresaith, Aberporth, Borth and Clarach beaches.

Safety patrols on Newport and Poppit Sands in North Pembrokeshire will also finish on Sunday.

There have been good numbers of visitors to the area’s beaches during the summer meaning a busy few months for the RNLI lifeguard team, which is provided in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council. As well as a number of water rescues, the lifeguards also dealt with a high number of first aid incidents and provided safety advice and assistance to thousands of beachgoers.

Incidents responded to by RNLI lifeguards in the county this season included the rescue of a woman and two children who were swept out in a rip current in big surf at Llangrannog and a young girl unable to swim who fell off an inflatable out of her depth at Borth.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Sam Trevor said: “I would like to thank all the lifeguards who once again provided a first class safety service on the county’s beaches this summer. They have shown commitment and dedication to both their ongoing training and their work on the beaches.

“The majority of our lifeguards’ work is preventative so as well as the rescues and incidents they were involved in, they will have stopped many more potentially dangerous incidents before they occurred.

“After Sunday there will be no red and yellow flags flying at these beaches, which means there’s no lifeguard service operating.

“People visiting the beaches after this can help keep themselves safe by taking note of the safety signage at the entrance to the beach, going with a friend or telling someone on the shore where they are going, and always being aware of the conditions and their own capabilities in the water.”

Phil Davies, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, added: “Autumn sees big spring tides and bigger swell around the coast. People walking on the coast should always check the tide times before setting out and carry a means of communication. The bigger swells mean more unpredictable rip currents in the water so people should take extra care. Anyone in difficulty in the water should try not to panic or fight against any currents, hold onto anything buoyant they have, call for help and raise their hand to attract attention and try to keep their head above water.

“The RNLI’s advice is not to enter the water if you see someone in trouble but rather to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, said: “Ceredigion has experienced a busy summer season with visitors and locals flocking to the county’s beaches.  Our beaches have been extremely busy at times and whilst there have been a few reported incidents, I’m pleased that the RNLI lifeguards have been on hand every time to provide assistance. The lifeguards’ presence on Ceredigion’s main beaches this season has once again has been welcomed and appreciated by beach users.”

A host of information and advice on various aspects of water safety is available at http://rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water.

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Man denies £7,000 burglary

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A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.

Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.

Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.

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Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings

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CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.

The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.

To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where they can adapt and send the e-mail. People can also watch a video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings, which some may find upsetting.

Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.

Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.

However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.

“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.

“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.

“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”

Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.

The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.

Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

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Police crack down on drink and drug driving

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NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.

98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.

“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”

In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.

Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.

To submit footage to any of the four Welsh Police Forces, visit https://gosafesnap.wales/ or https://gosafesnap.cymru.

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