An tragic incident at Llangennith almost a decade ago, where school boy Sam Capper tragically lost his life, has inspired a loving grandmother to put her best foot forward for the RNLI this Mayday, in tribute to the Burry Port RNLI volunteers who answered the call for help.
Leah Hunt, a police officer from Birkenhead, has officially launch this year’s Mayday Mile fundraiser by meeting her local RNLI crew at West Kirby for the first time, and revealing details of her own Mayday walking challenge on 22 May.
The latest figures released today by the RNLI have revealed the number of lives saved by RNLI crews from Flint to Penarth has increased by 22 per cent in 2021. In Wales, volunteer lifeboat crews saved 45 lives in 2021 compared with 37 in 2020.
Leah says the figures released today serve a stark reminder of why the RNLI is such a vital charity.
She is calling on people to support Mayday and raise funds for crews, such as the Burry Port RNLI crew who helped to save her son Lewis, during an incident which tragically took the life of her youngest boy Sam.
Sam Capper, aged 15, from Rock Ferry died in hospital after falling into the sea when a wave hit him in Llangennith, Swansea, in 2012. His older brother Lewis, now 31, jumped in after Sam and held onto him before being rescued by an RAF rescue helicopter and Burry Port RNLI lifeboat.
To support Mayday, Leah will take part in the Wirral Coastal Walk on 22 May along with Lewis’ three children Archie, nine, Kael, seven and five year old Neala. All will be wearing yellow wellies as a tribute to RNLI crews across the UK and Ireland who are prepared to drop everything should the call for help comes.
Leah says: “Before losing Sam, I now realise these people had never entered my mind, but were there for my family when I needed them most and to think that volunteers would risk their own safety for my family is just incredible and I am eternally grateful.
“This walk is certainly not about me, but about keeping Sam’s memory alive. On the 10th anniversary of his passing – it’s more important to me than ever to see his legacy live on in such a positive way. I would do anything for the RNLI and the walk is just one of the ways I want to say thank you. We regularly visit Burry Port and they have made us feel part of their family and I’m so grateful for that.
“Although the tragedy of losing Sam will never go away, they gave me back my son Lewis and I will be forever in their debt for that. I’m really looking forward to walking the Wirral Coastal Path for Mayday and will be chatting with my grandchildren about the uncle they never got to meet.”
The busiest station in Wales during 2021 was The Mumbles where lifeboats launched 95 times and assisted 143 people.
This is followed by Tenby where lifeboats launched 78 times and aided 36 people. It was the Porthcawl RNLI who saved the most lives during 2021, with 11 people still alive today thanks to the volunteer crew.
Events are taking place across Wales to support the RNLI fundraiser whereby people are invited to walk, jog, hop or skip. The Mayday Mile which challenges you to cover at least one mile in any way you like between Saturday 1st and Tuesday 31st May, whilst raising vital funds for RNLI lifesavers so that they can continue to keep people safe at sea.
At Tenby, RNLI supporters are being invited to sign up to a virtual ramble and Penarth RNLI will also be hosting a sponsored walk on 1 May.
Crew and supporters of Porthcawl RNLI are calling on locals to join a walk on 1 May and chose either a five, 10 or 15KM challenges to raise funds.
Faye Maher, RNLI Engagement Lead for Wales says: “Last year was an exceptionally busy one for our crews across Wales, but our volunteers would not be able to continue saving lives without the generous support of the public.
“With the increased popularity of the Welsh coastline, we’re expecting a busy summer and are so grateful to all those who have answered our Mayday plea. It’s exciting to see details of all the events flowing in and I hope people enjoy taking part whilst raising much-needed funds to help us continue saving lives.”
Lead image: Leah and her grandchildren with the West Kirby RNLI crew (Image: RNLI/David Edwards)
New car parking for Burry Port Harbour
Carmarthenshire Council have announced plans to improve car parking at Burry Port Harbour.
The council say the move will see underused land transformed into an additional accessible parking zone with around 100 plus spaces on the East side of the harbour, with existing surfaces and spaces also upgraded.
Disabled parking bays will be given prime location with panoramic views and there will be charging facilities for E-bikes which will enhance cycling and environmental provision.
Motorhomes will also have access to some bays during the day, around the Harbour area, with plans and funding bids for a bespoke developments along the wider coastline also in the pipeline.
The car park will have a new sustainable drainage system with upgraded surface dressing which will enable all year around usage.
The project is jointly funded by the council and Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basic scheme.
Carmarthenshire County Council Head of Leisure, Ian Jones said: “Currently the surface area of the car park to the East of the Harbour is loose gravel that is easily potholed and flooded regularly, so this improvement will offer a more modern, sustainable and attractive car park for our visitors to enjoy. It will also complement the existing car parks in the harbour and along the Carmarthenshire coastline.”
The council say this is the latest in a long line of investments totalling £2m to maintain and restore the historic harbour and one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.
Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls has been undertaken and completed under the guidance of CADW.
Carmarthenshire Council add this investment compliments funding made over previous years which saw the council invest in new pontoons, along with maintenance and upgrades to the harbour railings and bridge.
A local operator has taken over the lease and opened a cafe and public toilets on the east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.
New pay and display facilities have been installed to support parking control ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.
Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:“We are very aware of the important part that local tourism amenities have on someone’s overall experience when on a day trip or on holiday.
“These facilities often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of people’s experiences when they visit Wales, while also benefit those who live in the area. The £2.9m in new funding for the Brilliant Basics fund will go to projects which will help us make our destinations more accessible and more sustainable, and to grow tourism for the good of Wales.”
(Lead image: Google Maps)
Crisps cost one Burry Port worker a packet
A packet of crisps proved costly for one Burry Port road worker after he was ordered to pay nearly £200.
Jack Howells was laying tarmac on a road when a resident caught him red handed on camera discarding the empty packet on the floor.
The 24-year-old of Tyn Y Bryn Road, in Tonyrefail, was fined £100 by Llanelli magistrates and ordered to pay costs of £85 in a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council.
The court heard that on Monday, November 8 last year, a resident heard noises outside their property and saw a road worker throwing a banana skin on the ground. The resident then decided to switch on her phone video and caught Howells who was laying tarmac emptying the remains of a bag of crisps into his mouth before throwing it on the floor.
The evidence was then passed onto Carmarthenshire County Council’s enforcement team who contacted Gwendraeth Valley Tarmac and were able to identify Howells.
Howells was contacted by the council and agreed to pay a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) within 14 days to avoid going to court.
Despite reminders and a verbal agreement, Howells failed to pay up and was taken to court last Friday where he admitted the offence.
He was also ordered to pay £34 victim surcharge.
Health board calls on people with eye problems to visit Optometrist rather than GP
A West Wales health board is calling for patients who have emergency problems with their eyes to visit their local Opticians and Optometrist.
Hywel Dda University Health Board says that skilled Optometrists are on-hand to offer advice and treatment rather than patients needing to contact their GP or attend an accident and emergency department.
The health board, which covers Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion wants to highlight the value of community Optometrists and how they do so much more than help their patients choose the right pair of glasses.
It says that Optometrists can deal with emergency treatments including treating objects in the eye and other minor eye injuries. Your Optometrist can also detect and treat a number of eye conditions.
Scott Thomas from Llandyfaelog suffered discomfort from an alkaline chemical injury to one of his eyes while in work last year and on the advice of his wife, visited his local optician, Loveleen Browes Opticians in Burry Port. He was seen on the same day as the incident and his eye was treated straight away. He had a follow-up appointment 48 hours after the incident, there was an out-of-hours contact provided if he needed it and the treatment resulted in his vision being restored perfectly.
Loveleen Browes Opticians is one of ten practices within the Hywel Dda area that are able to treat patients under the Independent Prescribing Optometric Service, otherwise known as IPOS. This service allows Optometrists to prescribe medication to treat a range of eye conditions in primary care, which would have previously required a referral to the hospital eye service.
Scott said, “I would advise anyone who has an injury to their eyes to definitely contact their local Opticians as soon as possible. If it wasn’t for them and how they were able to see me as quick as they did, I don’t think I would have much of my eyesight left. I’m so grateful to Loveleen Browes Opticians in Burry Port for saving my eyesight.”
Rebecca, from Pembrey, another patient with Loveleen Browes Opticians, suffers from a condition called blepharitis which was affecting her quality of life as both her eyes were swelling, sore, itchy, red and over-watering, causing her vision to deteriorate during a flare up. Rebecca explained how the Optometrist got to know her eyes and offered treatment with medication and lid care products as well as reassuring support.
As part of the Help Us Help You campaign, the Welsh Government wants you to know that although the way you access NHS services has changed, it is still here for you. Get to know the different ways you can access the NHS by checking online through the NHS 111 Wales website, so you can get the right care at the right time, in the right place. Community eye care covers a spectrum of symptoms that many people may go to their GP for such as red eye, a painful eye, double vision and a foreign body in the eye.
Rachel Absalom, Head of Optometric Services, Hywel Dda University Health Board / Low Vision Wales, said: “Whether you are looking for a routine eye examination or you have eye related symptoms that require further and enhanced investigation, then your community Optometrist should be your first port of call. Your Optometrist has the knowledge, expertise, skills and equipment to help diagnose and manage eye conditions.
“If you have acute symptoms such as loss of vision, flashes and floaters, red eye, painful eye, foreign body in the eye to name but a few, then visit your optometrist who can potentially see you as an emergency under the Eye Health Examination Wales scheme.”
The 10 Opticians in Hywel Dda area able to treat patients under the Independent prescribing Optometric System
Evans and Hughes Opticians – Ammanford
Evans and Hughes Opticians – Llandeilo
Evans and Hughes Opticians – Lampeter
Evans and Hughes Opticians – Llandovery
Probert and Williams Opticians – Aberystwyth
Jones and Murphy Opticians – Carmarthen
Loveleen Browes Opticians – Burry Port
Specsavers Opticians – Haverfordwest
Specsavers Opticians – Llanelli
Specsavers Opticians – Ammanford
To find your nearest Optometrist, visit: http://www.eyecare.wales.nhs.uk/home
Plans for Vascular Hybrid Theatre at Morriston Hospital get a major boost
Tyson Fury comes to Swansea as Ware-house Gym celebrates first anniversary
Swansea shows rise in business growth despite fears high streets are empty
Plans for Neath Port Talbot’s first Welsh medium primary ‘starter school’ to be discussed by new council cabinet
University’s Egypt Centre in running for top museum award
Swansea Building Society to become new Swansea City AFC back of shirt sponsors
Swansea coach operator joins FlixBus network
Pembrokeshire charity recruits community fuel champions￼
Over 500 teenagers in Wales to get £1600 a month in basic income trial
Proposal to ban tea and coffee for under 16s in Wales branded ‘illiberal’
Twelve men arrested in cannabis raids in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot
Joe’s Ice Cream to celebrate 100th birthday with rebrand and grand reopening
Company appointed to lead £750m Swansea regeneration scheme
Swansea paramedic announced as first contestant of new series of Love Island
Port Talbot school’s shipping container shop lets people ‘pay what they can’ to combat cost of living crisis
Everything you need to know about the JCP Swansea Half Marathon ahead of race day
Engineering and technology trailblazers including Swansea University doctor shortlisted ahead of prestigious Engineering Talent Awards
Major Swansea road closures announced as city prepares to welcome back airshow
Specialist police to patrol Swansea’s beaches and parks this Summer
Tower crane helping transform former nightclub site
Sketty5 days ago
Agreement on new Singleton Park lighting will keep students safe say Student Union
Uncategorized3 days ago
Swansea 7 year-old girl badly burned by buried disposable BBQ on beach
Gardening6 days ago
Station planters bring colour and biodiversity to Swansea Railway Station
Llanelli5 days ago
Commonwealth Games baton relay to visit Carmarthenshire
Llanelli6 days ago
Llanelli day nursery voted amongst best in Wales
Ammanford5 days ago
Man who filmed rape of Ammanford woman on victim’s phone jailed for 10 years
Mumbles6 days ago
Swansea Building Society donates £10K to ‘Go Underhill’ development
Charity4 days ago
Action for Children and Swansea Council unveil new caravans for supported families