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Long service awards for New Quay RNLI coxswains

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New Quay RNLI’s Coxswain Daniel Potter and Second Coxswain Steve Hartley received long service awards from the charity on Saturday 2 February. They were presented with their 30-year bar to their long service badges by Ceredigion’s MP Ben Lake.

Volunteers Dan and Steve have both given nearly 40 years’ service to New Quay Lifeboat Station and have been in their present roles as Coxswain and Second Coxswain for 25 years serving on the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat, Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge.

Ben Lake MP speaking at the presentation said, “I would like to congratulate them both. It is an honour to award these badges and we would all like to express our gratitude for their long-standing service, dedication and commitment. The job they do is invaluable to our coastal community and the length of service is outstanding; it is truly humbling.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager added, “It is a remarkable achievement to reach 50 years as coxswains between them. Such commitment and dedication in volunteering is incredible. These awards illustrate the outstanding devotion to duty both have given in their service to New Quay Lifeboat Station.”

Dan Potter, Coxswain and New Quay’s County Councillor said, “I would like to thank the crew and the whole team at New Quay Lifeboat Station. They are like my family and I would like to thank them for the support they have given me through the years. It has been an honour to be Coxswain here.”

Steve congratulated Dan on his long service award and said, “I would also like to thank the crew and everyone involved with the lifeboat station. I feel privileged to have received this award. It certainly has been fun, challenging and very rewarding. I just can’t believe how long it has been.”

On returning to the Houses of Commons, Ben Lake MP tabled an Early Day Motion on Monday 4 February to congratulate the long serving New Quay coxswains. The motion was sponsored by cross party group of MPs and reads;

“That this House recognises the essential service that has been provided continuously by the RNLI Lifeboats at New Quay Ceredigion for 155 years; notes the numerous lives saved at sea as a result of their work; commends the long and devoted service of many of its volunteers; thanks in particular Coxswain Daniel Potter and Second Coxswain Steve Hartley for 36 and 37 years of continuous service respectively, 25 years as Coxswains; congratulates them both on their long service awards; and wishes the New Quay RNLI and its volunteers continued success for the future.”

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Police investigate after child dies in west Wales caravan fire

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating the circumstances around a fire at a caravan in Ceredigion in which a child died.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Cockwell said: “We received a call at 5.35am today (Sunday, January 19), reporting a fire at a caravan at Ffair Rhos.

“Enquiries so far lead us to believe that three people were inside the caravan at the time the fire broke out. These were a father and two children – a four-year-old, and a little boy who we believe to have been aged three.

“While the father and the eldest child were able to get out of the caravan, the younger of the siblings was tragically found deceased inside.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult and traumatic time, and specialist officers have been put in place to support them.

“The father is currently in a stable condition in hospital, while the four-year-old is critical but stable. Both suffered burns.

“The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating the cause of the fire, and a major incident room has been set up at Aberystwyth Police Station.

“We are also working closely with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, who were in attendance when our officers arrived. We would like to thank our colleagues at the fire service for their professionalism in dealing with what turned out to be a highly traumatic incident.

“We would like to speak to anyone who was in the Ffair Rhos area around the time of the fire, who might have information that could help our investigation.

“This was a tragic incident, and we will be doing all we can to find answers for the family, whose world will have been torn apart by this morning’s events.”

If you have any information that could help officers, call the Criminal Investigation Department on 101, using Storm reference 39 of January 19.

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Police issue warning to community over ‘fake beggars’

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POLICE in Aberystwyth are warning the community about a fraudulent group who have been travelling to the area to beg.

Many residents and visitors have donated cash believing members of the group are genuinely in need.

PC Phil Woodland: “I’m proud to work in a town where people want to help each other, but in this case, their kindness is being exploited.

“We’ve tried working with the group to ensure they have the support they need, and through this effort it’s become clear they are not genuinely homeless. We are using legal powers where possible and necessary to deal with the issue.

“Giving money to someone who is begging is a personal choice, however, on this occasion the community is being misled. At the end of the day, these people are returning to their homes – they are essentially scamming people.”

Those involved are described as men and women of Romanian descent, aged between 30 and 50. Police say they visit Aberystwyth on the train or bus, and return home to Cardiff at the end of the day.

The situation is being monitored by the neighbourhood policing team, and anyone with information is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online: http://bit.ly/dppReportOnline, by email: contactcentre@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

If you are concerned about someone you believe is sleeping rough, StreetLink exists to help connect them with the local services that can provide support: https://www.streetlink.org.uk/

Shelter Cymru offers practical advice on how to help someone who is begging, or you believe is homeless, on their website: https://sheltercymru.org.uk/7-ways/

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RNLI in Wales urges people to stay safe as Storm Brendan hits

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging people to stay safe near the Welsh coast as severe weather could make our seas and coastlines particularly dangerous.

Lifesaving charity, the RNLI, is encouraging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers.

The expected strong winds and severe gales pose a severe safety risk to those visiting the coast.

Named Storm Brendan by Met Eireann, it swept eastwards across Ireland before making its way through the rest of the UK this morning with yellow wind warning in place for most of the Welsh coast.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead for Wales said:

‘This rough weather could make visiting parts of the Welsh coastline treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions.

‘Sadly, around 150 people lose their lives on British and Irish coasts each year and over half of these people didn’t plan on ever entering the water. Slips, trips and falls can be a major factor in these kinds of incidents.’

If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – too many people drown trying to save others.

The charity, which provides a search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, is facing its own Perfect Storm as demand for its services has increased but it is facing a shortfall in funds. This past year, the RNLI has been busier than ever, and stormy conditions can mean additional call outs for the already extremely busy volunteer crews. Whatever the weather, RNLI volunteers will still be on call to rescue those at difficulty at sea.

The RNLI’s major new fundraising appeal, The Perfect Storm, which aims to help the charity get back to living within its means, is running throughout November and December. To find out more or to donate visit RNLI.org/ThePerfect Storm.

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