POLICE have praised the quick-thinking and immense bravery of an Aberporth woman who saved an injured man from the sea.
Dyfed-Powys Police Inspector Owen Williams has commended mother-of-three Cora Thomas for her actions when she feared a man was in trouble off the coast at Ogof Llidw.
Cora was walking along the coastal path with her family on January 9, when she saw a group of people she suspected to have been drinking jumping from the rocks into the sea.
Immediately sensing the danger of the situation due to the combination of extremely cold weather, the possibility that they were drunk, and the fact it was getting dark, Cora stayed back from her family to keep an eye on the group.
But when they left, she feared someone had been left behind.
“It looked like they were having a party on the rocks, and when they saw me watching them they must have been worried I was going to report them,” Cora said.
“They walked off, but this one man had gone to the Ogof rocks, and the only way to get there and back is to swim – they had left him behind.
“I decided to stand there and watch, and I saw him get into the water, but he didn’t come back up.”
As Cora headed down the coastal path to get a closer look, she bumped into two men she knew, and explained what had happed.
The pair had not seen anyone, but as they looked down the cliff, they could see a pile of clothes on the rocks.
“I started screaming down to ask if anyone was there,” Cora said. “I did panic, but I thought I was going to see a body washing past us.
“After a minute or so, we saw him coming out of the water and he was clinging onto the cliff.
“He was so cold he was slurring, and couldn’t tell us his name.”
Dazed and confused, the man was wearing just underwear, had cut his foot and was struggling to speak, such was the cold he had been exposed to.
Realising they needed to warm him up as quickly as possible, Cora and the two men got him dressed, giving him a jacket to keep out the cold.
“He was slipping and sliding all over the place – we had to drag him up the cliff,” Cora said.
“He kept saying he was tired, and I was really worried if he fell asleep he could have fallen into a hypothermic coma. We had to try and keep him calm, and stop him from walking away or he could have slipped back into the sea.”
Police and Coastguard arrived at the scene shortly after, carrying the man by stretcher to an ambulance.
After hospital treatment, he was discharged and is understood to have recovered.
Looking back, Cora described the incident as “totally unexpected”.
“I’ve never been in that sort of situation before, and it was one of the scariest things I have ever been through,” she said.
“I’m glad I stopped when I did – I genuinely think that would have been the end of him if we hadn’t been there.”
Praising the emergency services for their response, Cora also highlighted the use of the WhatThreeWords app, which pinpointed her location to the police.
“Even though I’m local, I couldn’t explain where we were,” she said.
“It was a mixture of panic and not knowing how to describe it. We downloaded the app, which gives you three words to tell the call handler – when they said ‘we’ve got your location and we’re on our way’ it was a huge sense of relief.
“Everyone should download it – you never know when you might need it, and it could save valuable time in an emergency.”
Inspector Owen Williams, of Cardigan police station, commended Cora and the two men for their actions.
“Had Cora not kept a close eye on the group jumping in the water, the man would have been left behind and in severe danger of being swept out to sea or suffering from hypothermia.
“Undoubtedly, her concern and prompt actions – as well as the invaluable help of the two men involved – contributed to preventing a tragedy that evening.”
Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children
RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)
Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.
“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children. However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”
Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:
*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)
*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).
The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.
Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:
- You are worried about your child.
- Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
- Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
- Your child seems very tired or irritable.
Dial 999 for an ambulance if:
- your baby is having difficulty breathing
- your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
- there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
New Quay RNLI rescues person cut off by the tide
NEW Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on service on Saturday September 11 following a report of a person cut off by the tide at Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.
With three crew members on board the inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ it launched on service at 11.15am and did an extensive search of the beach before finding the casualty who had been cut off by the high spring tide.
Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “There was an initial confusion on the location of the casualty but an update from the New Quay Coastguard Rescue team, who had fought their way down from the cliff top through thick undergrowth, allowed us to locate the person.
“We then transferred the casualty and two of the coastguard team onto the boat. We dropped the casualty off at Llanina Point and brought the two coastguard officers back to the lifeboat station. The inshore lifeboat was then rehoused and ready for service by 12.25pm.
“Remember if you see if you see anyone in difficulty or you find yourself in trouble on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Ben Lake shows support for farmers on Back British Farming Day
BEN Lake MP has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers in Ceredigion play in producing food for the nation.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with the emblem of the day – a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge – to enable them to join the celebration of agriculture. Food and farming is a key business sector, worth more than £120 billion to the UK economy and providing jobs for almost four million people.
The NFU chose the day to launch a new report which asks for Government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year, covering the country’s production of key foods and its contribution to global food security. This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade.
Commenting, Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers. The day presents an opportunity to thank the farmers who feed us, as well as take care of our countryside and maintain our iconic Welsh landscapes.
“I fully support the campaign which is asking us all to value locally produced food. I will be calling on Government to adopt agricultural policies that ensure farming in Ceredigion can thrive and ensure our self-sufficiency does not fall below its current level of 60%, alongside a greater ambition in promoting Welsh food to aid UK food security.”
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