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RNLI replace stolen door handles

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TWO members of New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Station travelled to Penlee Lifeboat Station on Wednesday (Nov 7) to present a set of old cast iron door handles to Penlee Coxswain Patch Harvey after theirs was stolen from the historic Penlee Lifeboat Station in Mousehole, Cornwall.

The former lifeboat building is dedicated to those who lost their lives, including all the lifeboat’s crew, following the Penlee lifeboat disaster in 1981. It has been left the same since the Solomon Browne lifeboat launched and never returned on that treacherous day.

The two cast-iron handles pictured were once fitted to the front doors of the old lifeboat station in New Quay, Ceredigion, West Wales and before the station was rebuilt in the early 1990’s the handles were removed by the current RNLI Mechanic Bernie Davies as a keepsake and something to remember the old building by.

Mechanic Bernie explained: “On reading on Facebook that someone had stolen the Penlee Lifeboat Station door handle, I was shocked and upset. I knew I had to do something and remembered that I had kept the old New Quay lifeboat station’s cast iron door handles which were exactly the same. I saw that they were appealing for replicas so I went to my garage and rummaged around.”

Bernie, along with Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, travelled the 313 miles that separate the two stations, a journey of six hours, and visited the old Penlee Lifeboat Station at Penlee Point, Mousehole where they presented the handles to Penlee Coxswain Patch Harvey.

Now the two lifeboat stations have some shared history and these wonderful old handles, turned so many times by generations of New Quay lifeboatmen, will have a new life at Penlee Lifeboat Station.

Penlee Coxswain Patch Harvey said: “We are all thrilled to receive these beautiful old cast iron handles from our colleagues at New Quay Lifeboat Station. They’re identical to the handle that was stolen a few weeks ago and will soon be fitted at the old boathouse – a wonderful historic link between the two lifeboat stations. Our thanks go to Bernie and Roger for making such a long journey to deliver them – RNLI family at its best.”

Bernie added: “I am so pleased our old handles are being put to good use and the historic building will be reinstated to its original state.”

The Penlee lifeboat disaster occurred on 19 December 1981 off the coast of Cornwall. The lifeboat Solomon Browne, based at the Penlee lifeboat station near Mousehole, went to the aid of the vessel Union Star after its engines failed in heavy seas. After the lifeboat had rescued four people, both vessels were lost with all hands; in all, sixteen people died including eight volunteer lifeboatmen.

The old boathouse at Penlee Point is an historic building with its slipway and building kept the same as it was when the lifeboat launched, never to come back, and a memorial garden was created beside it in 1985 to commemorate the crew of the Solomon Browne.

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Winners of the Ceredigion Marine Litter Reduction competition announced

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THE WINNING designs were announced on 5 March for a competition held at five primary schools across Ceredigion. The task was to design a poster that will be used as an accreditation to businesses who are reducing their use of plastics and packaging.

Year 5 and 6 pupils from Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron, Ysgol Cei Newydd, Ysgol Gynradd Bro Sion Cwilt , Ysgol Gynradd Aberporth and Ysgol Gymunedol Craig Yr Wylfa participated in the competition. Across the schools, the five best designs were chosen as winners. The winners and eight runners up received certificates for their achievements.

The winning posters will be awarded to businesses and organisations who support plastic reduction, support packaging reduction, allow customers to re-fill single-use water bottles and have stopped providing plastic straws. Schools who commit to reducing their plastic will also be awarded accreditation posters.

Melanie Heath is the Cardigan Bay Marine Protected Area Officer for Ceredigion County Council. She said, “Following a successful plastic reduction pilot project in Llangrannog in 2016, we wanted to reward or accredit businesses and organisations who had reduced their use of plastic.

With this year’s project, we wanted to involve our young people, who care passionately about issues such as plastic pollution and climate change. We wanted to give them the opportunity to contribute to the campaign and to have their voices heard.”

To support the running of the project this year, Ceredigion County Council received a grant from Natural Resources Wales.

Linda Ashton, Senior Partnership, Access and Recreation Officer, Natural Resources Wales said, “We support communities and partners through our grant aid programmes to help more people learn about and enjoy our natural environment.

It is great to see young people getting involved with projects like this and encouraging others to reduce their plastic waste. Helping to protect the environment of Wales for the future.”

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New Quay RNLI curry and quiz night

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NEW QUAY RNLI Fundraisers are hosting the annual curry and quiz night at New Quay Yacht Club on Friday 22 March at 7.30pm. The fundraising team is also looking for new members to help raise funds to save lives at sea.

Tim Richards, New Quay RNLI Fundraising Manager said, “Everyone is welcome to join us for a fun evening at the Yacht Club. The evening will begin with a home cooked curry and finish with a light-hearted quiz to get your brain cells working. So why not join us to tickle your taste buds and test your general knowledge while raising money for lifeboats at the same time?”

The New Quay Ceredigion Fundraising Branch are volunteers that devote their time to raising vital funds for the RNLI, the charity which saves lives at sea. They organise and host a variety of family friendly events throughout the year, from fish supper evenings to the Christmas Fayre.

Tim added, “We are looking for new members to join our fundraising team, no experience necessary but lots of enthusiasm and ideas are very welcome. We meet on average once a month so if you are interested please do not hesitate to contact me at tim.dysonrichards@gmail.com or New Quay Lifeboat Station on 01545 560311 to help make a difference.”

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New Quay RNLI help rowers prepare for Celtic Challenge

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NEW QUAY RNLI recently assisted Clwb Rhwyfo Llangrannog Rowing Club with their training for this year’s Celtic Challenge.

The biennial challenge sees teams of 12 people rowing through the night from Arklow in Ireland to Aberystwyth in Wales, a journey of approximately 97 miles. The race is an extreme test of endurance and usually takes between 15 and 24 hours, depending on the weather.

 

Two New Quay RNLI crew members, Laura Mears and Heather Rees-Gaunt, are members of the Llangrannog Rowing Club and Heather will be taking part in the gruelling challenge which is set to take place between May 3-6, 2019.

As part of their preparations, the rowing team took part in a structured exercise with lifeboat crew members simulating a person overboard incident so that the rowers gained experience in manoeuvring the boat and recovering a person from the water. New Quay RNLI Community Safety Adviser, Roy Fenner, also gave advice on safety equipment and means of calling for help.

 

Heather, who has previously rowed the Indian Ocean from Australia to the Seychelles, breaking two world records, said, “These training exercises with the RNLI are crucial for our preparations as we will be rowing in the Irish Sea at night, which can be a dangerous place to be if you’re not fully prepared. The person overboard training helps each team member know what to do if the situation arises.

“After the training session, the feedback from all the rowers was hugely positive. Doing the practical training has installed a huge element of confidence in dealing with the ever-changing scenarios that can take place at sea. I know from experience that anything can happen and usually when you least expect it. Small situations escalate very quickly in such an unpredictable environment but knowing your team has that little bit more experience and training can only ever be a positive.”

BBC cameras are following their journey, including preparations and training as well as the race itself, with each team member raising money for a charity of their choice.

The club is still searching for sponsors for various items of clothing for the challenge. If you are able to help please email Rhwyfo Crannog Rowing on mispinc@hotmail.com or call 07415 351 431.

 

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