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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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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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