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Commendation for police who risked their lives to save a woman from drowning

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TWO police officers who put their own lives at risk to save a vulnerable woman from being washed out to sea have been commended for their bravery.

Dyfed-Powys Police Sergeant Katy Evans and PC Ian Chattun were completely submerged by waves after selflessly rushing into the water in full uniform to save the woman during the early hours of the morning.

The officers had been called to Aberystwyth beach on August 18, 2019 following several reports of concerns for the safety of a woman near the water.

Sgt Evans said: “We tried to reason with her to come out, but she wouldn’t. The waves were so choppy, we were worried that if she went in she would get pulled under.

“All of a sudden she just went in, and we had no time to think about what we were doing. By the time I took my equipment belt off, she had already been taken a considerable distance out. I just had to act quickly.”

It was 2am, pitch black, and it was clear that the woman’s life was in immediate danger. Both officers rushed into the water, not stopping to remove kit that could have weighed them down.

Once in the water, it was so rough that the officers could not stay afloat. As she tried to update colleagues on the situation over her radio, Sgt Evans was completely submerged. But she somehow managed to push her emergency alarm, calling further units and activating a light that alerted them to her location.

“It’s funny how things don’t hit you until later,” she said. “At the time, you don’t think about anything other than the situation in front of you. We could see someone drifting away, and there was no way she was going to survive. I didn’t think anything other than ‘we need to help’.

“We just had to dive in. We didn’t realise until we were in the water how cold it was, and how choppy it was. I still had my body armour and boots on because I didn’t have time to take them off, and it was quite frightening in there.

“It went deep quickly, and it was so dangerous. It only hit me afterwards what had happened, and how different the outcome could have been. I think we were in a state of shock.”

PC Chattun swam to the aid of the woman, and together with Sgt Evans, pulled her to safety. Paramedics then arrived and took her to hospital, while the officers tried to process what had just happened.

“Luckily, she was fine and we were fine, but the day after I thought ‘that could have gone horribly wrong’,” Sgt Evans said. “I have a little boy at home, and if the outcome had been different … it doesn’t bear thinking about.

“I have asked myself what I would do faced with that situation again every day since. Being completely honest, despite the risks and what could have happened, yes I would do the same. If I saw someone in danger or in trouble, yes I would go in again and do all I could to help.”

PC Chattun and Sgt Evans were awarded for their bravery and commitment to helping the public at the Dyfed-Powys Police commendations ceremony on Tuesday, January 28.

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Community

Wizardry night a success at Aberystwyth Library

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The fourth Harry Potter Book Night was held at Aberystwyth Library on Friday, 07 February.

After dark, it was a time for fans to celebrate the iconic series of books with events all around the World.

Ceredigion Library Service held the event at Aberystwyth Town Library, which was decorated with all things Harry Potter.

Emyr Lloyd and Delyth Huws, both Assistant Librarians organised the night. They were very pleased with the success and turnout. Emyr Lloyd said, “We enjoy putting on the Harry Potter Book night. The fourth one was no different with 86 children attending the free event and very positive feedback. We hope events such as these spark a joy of reading in the young and old.”

Three Owls from New Quay Birds of Prey came by and Luke the close-up magician entertained the audience. The children were also entertained with a reading from one of the books and also a crafts and activities area.

Follow the events of the Ceredigion Library Service on Facebook @llyfrgellceredigionlibrary. The next event will be a sale of stock on 22 February between 10am and 4pm at the Bandstand in Aberystwyth.

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Stage set for post-apocalyptic phenomenon

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On Monday, 2 March, Cwmni’r Frân Wen, in partnership with Galeri will bring the theatre adaptation of Manon Steffan Ros’ post-apocalyptic novel to Theatr Felinfach as part of its tour of Wales.

‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ is a Welsh language literary phenomenon.

The novel has made an enormous impression since its publication in 2018. A week after winning the Prose Medal in the 2018 Cardiff National Eisteddfod, a reprint was being prepared. It swept the boards at last year’s Wales Book of the Year awards and has already been named as a set text for GCSE.

The novel follows the amazing story of Siôn, his mother Rowenna, and his younger sister, Dwynwen as they attempt to survive after a nuclear accident – a nightmare that had a devastating effect on the inhabitants of the village of Nebo and beyond.

Tara Bethan plays the mother, with Eben James playing her son, Sion. Tara said: “It’s a huge honour to play a part in adapting ‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ for the stage – there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most exciting Welsh novels in recent years.”

As the dust settles after a nuclear apocalypse, Rowenna and her children Siôn and Dwynwen are facing a world where signs of life are quickly disappearing. Their story is recorded in a little blue book as the family tries to survive the devastating effects of the incident.

‘Llyfr Glas Nebo’ is an unflinching story about life, death and hope. You will laugh. You will cry. But above all, you will question how we live, love and care about the world around us. Frân Wen and Galeri are proud to bring Manon Steffan Ros’ beautifully harrowing novel to stage.

Tickets are selling fast. Contact the Box Office on 01570 470697 or go online to theatrfelinfach.cymru. Tickets are £12 for adults, £10 for OAPs and members and £8 for students, young people and children. Age Guidance is 12+.

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Oldest St. David’s Procession in Wales?

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Gorymdaith Gŵyl Dewi Aberaeron (Aberaeron’s St David’s procession) was founded by the late Alun Williams, the former headteacher of Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron in 1979 and is possibly the oldest procession of its kind in Wales which continues to this day.

The date of the 2020 Gorymdaith Gŵyl Dewi in Aberaeron is Monday 02 March with the procession due to start at 9.30 a.m. The 2020 procession will be a little different to that of previous years as Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron pupils will join Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron pupils to walk around the town. The two schools will walk from their sites to Alban Square where both schools will join and walk together to Pwllcam where a short ceremony will bring the event to a close at 10 a.m.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn is Ceredigion County Council’s Leader. She said, “St David’s processions have become more and more commonplace in recent years. There are now processions held in towns and cities across Wales such as Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Cardigan. Just as in these other locations the aim of Gorymdaith Gŵyl Dewi Aberaeron is to draw as many local people together to celebrate the day of the Patron Saint of Wales, Welsh identity and the Welsh Language in a sea of song and colour in the town centre.”

40 years since the first procession, Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron is still the organiser of the procession and this year they have been co-operating with Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron and Cered, the local language promotion initiative to develop the event. As part of this cooperation the Welsh Council at Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron and Cered’s Welsh in Business Officer Siriol Teifi will distribute information to the town’s businesses in order to give them ideas on how to be a part of the event.

Anyone is welcome to join the procession – individuals or groups. If you would like to take part or if you would like further details, contact Cered on 01545 572 350 or cered@ceredigion.gov.uk.

As well as Aberaeron, remember the other four parades in the county to celebrate St. David’s Day.

· Tregaron, Friday 28 February, 2:00pm.

· Cardigan, Saturday 29 February, 10:30am.

· Lampeter, Saturday 29 February, 11:00am.

· Aberstwyth, Saturday 29 February, 1:00pm.

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