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Puma’s return connects to Tiger Squadron’s past

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pumaA ROYAL AIR FORCE Tiger Squadron has reconnected with its flying boat roots and an 80-year association with Pembroke Dock. 

A Puma 2 helicopter of No 230 Squadron – which has a tiger on its official crest – flew into the Royal Dockyard last week to link up with the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust during a routine training sortie. The Squadron’s first connection with the town was in 1934 when based at the RAF station before relocating to the Far East. After the Second World War 230 Squadron returned to ‘PD’ briefly, before becoming permanent residents there from 1949 until the last two Sunderland squadrons in the UK disbanded in 1957. Heading the 230 crew was the squadron Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Hamish Cormack. This was one of his last duties before handing over command on promotion. And it was almost a homecoming for another crew member, Flight Lieutenant Jonathan Thomas, who is from Ceredigion. To celebrate 230 Squadron’s 95th anniversary, the Puma 2 was repainted in a special colour scheme as worn by a Sunderland which 230 operated from Ceylon in World War II. Known as ‘Black Peter’, the Sunderland was the only one painted black, for night operations. Wing Commander Cormack brought along a framed print featuring the new and the old ‘Black Peters’ and this was presented to Ron Boreham for the Sunderland Trust. Ron, a Trust Volunteer and former 230 Squadron aircrew on Sunderlands at ‘PD’, later took members of the crew to visit the Flying Boat Centre Workshop and the new Heritage Centre in the Dockyard Chapel. The Mayor of Pembroke Dock, Councillor Pam George, welcomed the visitors and presented a Town Council plaque to Wing Commander Cormack. Sunderland Trust Volunteer Team members and members of the public took the opportunity to view the Puma 2 at close quarters during its brief period on the ground. The landing site, close to the western Sunderland hangar in the former dockyard, was generously provided by the Port of Pembroke whose staff spent considerable time preparing it for the aerial arrival. The support once again of the Port staff is gratefully acknowledged by the Trust. The original ‘Black Peter’ – in model form – was on hand to greet the 230 Squadron crew. It was made by Sunderland Trust Volunteer Peter Mitchell, of the Penfro Model Group, who had faithfully recreated the colour scheme and markings of this unique aircraft. This model will be displayed by the Sunderland Trust the Heritage Centre, along with the print of the 230 Squadron Puma 2.

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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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