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20th November 2012 - New Lifeboat Name Revealed

St Davids new lifeboat name revealed as RNLI announces investing £42.5M in Wales

RNLI crew at St Davids are in jubilant mood after receiving letters officially allocating the station a Tamar class lifeboat. It has also been revealed that the £2.7M lifeboat will be named RNLB Norah Wortley. It is being funded by the generous bequest of Mrs Diane Mary Symon who died in February 2010. The charity which saves lives at sea is investing nearly £10.8M in four new Tamar class lifeboats for Porthdinllaen, Moelfre, St Davids and The Mumbles and approximately £31.7M on associated shore works. Porthdinllaen was first to receive its new lifeboat in August and now the remaining three stations are in a jubilant mood after receiving letters confirming their allocation of modern new lifeboats. The three Welsh stations will see their Tyne class lifeboats being replaced with the faster, technologically advanced Tamar’s over the next two years. 

The second lifeboat to arrive will be Moelfre’s, which will also be kept on a mooring whilst work to construct its new home begins. The planning application is currently under consideration and if a positive decision is received, work will get underway in the spring of next year. Moelfre’s lifeboat has been funded by the generous bequest of the late Reginald James Clark, who died in June 2004. Mr Clark, who was a merchant seaman, had been rescued by the RNLI after his ship was torpedoed during the war. Mr Clark originally came from New Zealand and his family have requested that the lifeboat be named RNLB Kiwi in recognition of his origins.

The south Wales lifeboats are expected to arrive once the boathouses have been built, with work already underway to build a new lifeboat station at The Mumbles. The current plan is for the completion of the new slipway stations in October next year. This lifeboat has been funded by the Roy Barker Memorial Fund and will be named RNLB Roy Barker IV.

At St Davids, designers are still at the drawing board putting the final touches to plans. If planning permission is granted, building is expected to start in 2013.   A public meeting was held last week to discuss plans for a new lifeboat station at St Justinians site. The plans, which have in development for a number of years, are due to be submitted to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority at the beginning of November for consideration.

Jim Phillips, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer for St Davids says:

‘A new lifeboat station is needed to house the new Tamar class lifeboat which has been allocated to the station and to provide up-to-date facilities for the crew which cannot be accommodated in the existing building.'

RNLI Divisional Inspector of lifeboat for Wales Colin Williams says:

‘The Tamar is the most technologically advanced lifeboat ever produced by the RNLI, we owe it to our volunteer crews to provide them with the very best lifeboats.  Being able to provide these fantastic new lifeboats is thanks to very generous bequests for which we are eternally grateful.  The fact the charity is investing in four Tamars shows our commitment to saving lives at sea off the Welsh coast.’

Mr Williams said the RNLI had faced significant challenges in designing many of these new boathouses:

‘From the listed status of some of our current boathouses’, sites of Special Scientific Interest and extreme tidal conditions – the challenges of designing homes for these new lifeboats has not been easy. The support we’ve had from local councils, various governing bodies and the public should not be underestimated and we thank our supporters for their continued patience as we provide the necessary bases for 21st century lifeboating.’

The Tamar features modern technology to enhance its lifesaving capabilities. Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots. The Tamar includes the computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats. Other features include advanced ergonomics, that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat crashes through waves, and a powered Y boat stored behind a transom door to allow immediate deployment.

The first Tamar went on station at Tenby in Wales in 2006, followed by Angle in 2009.

 

14th November 2012 - Public Meeting

A well attended public meeting was held at St Davids Rugby Club on the afternoon of 14th November when a presentation on the RNLI's plans for a new lifeboat station at St Davids was made by members of the design and construction team. It is envisaged that the plans will be submitted to the National Park for consideration for planning consent before the end of 2012.

 

26th October 2012 - Cheese & Wine Fundraising Evening

On Friday 26th October the 2012 Buffet with Cheese and Wine was held in Harbour Inn, Solva. The evening was very successful with about 75 people from Solva and St Davids supporting the event.

Rose and the staff of Harbour Inn are to be congratulated on a lovely buffet and service and for donating 2 tickets for a Sunday Carvery. Many thanks also go to James Wilcox, Lifeboat Operations Manager for donating the wine and Mr & Mrs Wyn Evans for the donation of lovely Caerfai Cheese.

Special thanks to all those who donated raffle prizes and to Lynne and Jane who worked hard with the raffle and the door tickets. The evening raised £509.60 for RNLI funds and, by all accounts, a good time was had by all. There were further sales of RNLI souvenirs and Christmas cards by Gayle and Rosemary amounting to approx £400.

This event is held annually so we hope to see you next year!

If you are interested in sponsoring this, or any other RNLI event, please contact Tracy John on 01437 720272 or tracyjohn_rnli@yahoo.co.uk

 

7th / 8th September 2012 - Cliff Diving Event at Abereiddi

Abereiddi Cliff Diving Spectators

The St Davids ILB joined St Davids coastguards, police, Mid & West Wales Ambulance Service and the Red Cross to cover the Red Bull Cliff Diving Competition which was held at the Blue Lagoon, Abereiddi on the 7th and 8th September 2012. There were 1,500 spectators expected each day plus kayakers and small boats. The event proved to be a great success and fortunately there were no serious incidents needing the attention of the emergency services. Nevertheless there were a small number of instances where minor accidents were dealt with.

See the BBC Wales report.

See the Red Bull event page.

 

26th August 2012 - Open Day

St Davids RNLI lifeboat station held it's annual open day over the bank holiday weekend. Although visitor numbers were down on last year there was still a good number of people to look around the station. They took the opportunity to speak with crew members and look over both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats before they launched on exercise at 4.30pm.

 

14th August 2012 - Coffee Morning

St Davids RNLI fundraisers held a very successful coffee morning at the Memorial Hall, St Davids where over £500 was raised towards branch funds.

 

12th and 14th August 2012 - Solva Regattas

St Davids lifeboats made their annual visit to the Solva Regattas. The all weather lifeboat visited the inshore regatta on Sunday 12th August and tied alongside the wall for members of the public to come on board and look over the boat. The on Tuesday 14th August the inshore lifeboat visited the children's regatta.

 

29th July 2012 - Blessing the Boats Service

St Davids inshore lifeboat visited Porthclais Harbour on Sunday afternoon where the St Davids Council of Churches were holding their first ever Blessing the Boats service. During the last hymn, played by the Goodwick Brass Band, a collection was taken for the RNLI raising over £140 for the St Davids Station. The event was filmed for S4C's television programme Heno.

 

28th July 2012 - Really Wild Food Show

Really Wild Food Show 2012

St Davids RNLI fundraisers attended the Really Wild Food Festival on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th July with their RNLI Souvenir stall and D class lifeboat which was a big hit with the children!

 

27th June 2012 - Crew Members Leaving

Crew Members Leaving

 

Three St Davids RNLI Volunteer Crewmembers on the move

At a recent St Davids RNLI crew dinner three of the station's volunteer crew were presented with service certificates as they have left the crew due to them moving outside the area. ILB helmsman and ALB crew member Neil Thomas served with the St Davids lifeboat for 15 years and was awarded an RNLI Framed Letter of Thanks for the rescue of 3 surfers at Newgale in 2002. Simon Thornton served with St Davids RNLI for 13 years as an ALB crew member and ILB helmsman and was also awarded an RNLI Framed Letter of Thanks for the rescue of 3 teenage girls trapped on the cliffs at Caerfai in 2008. Matthew Cox served at St Davids for 10 years as an ALB and ILB crew member and served as a helmsman for part of this time.

Pictured following their presentation, which was carried out by the station's Lifeboat Operations Manager Capt James Wilcox, are L/R are Simon Thornton, Matthew Cox and Neil Thomas.

The RNLI would like to place on record their grateful appreciation for their commitment to saving lives at sea.

 

3rd June 2012 - Diamond Jubilee

Diamond Jubilee

Coxswain David John has returned from the Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant held on Sunday 3rd June. David was chosen to represent the 31 RNLI lifeboat stations in Wales as part of a crew made up of representatives from all of the different nations of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The crew manned the new Tamar Class lifeboat named the "Diamond Jubilee" which will be stationed at Eastbourne once crew training has been completed in a couple of weeks time.

Despite the heavy rain the RNLI received a very warm reception with sections of the crowd along the river chanting "RNLI, RNLI" as the lifeboat passed by.

 

23rd May 2012 - AGM Report

AGM 2012

On Wednesday May 23 St Davids RNLI Branch held its annual general meeting; also attending the event was the RNLI Divisional Inspector for Wales & West Colin Williams. The Inspector gave a report on the operational things going on in the wider RNLI, also the progression of the new Tamar class lifeboat which will be station at St Davids in next few years.

Lifeguards Manager Phil Davies gave a talk on the work that the RNLI lifeguards are in involved in especially in the St Davids area, in co-ordination with the other emergency services including lifeboats. Coxswain David John gave an account of the service calls at the station. During 2011 the lifeboats were paged on 43 occasions (all-weather lifeboat 17 - and the inshore 26). So far in 2012 there have been 5 launches (all-weather 3 – and the inshore 2).

At the end of the AGM there was a film presentation regarding the progress of the new St Davids Tamar class lifeboat under construction at Plymouth, also footage of some of the rescues involving St Davids lifeboats.

Following this there was a cheque presentation for £20,897.15 made by members of the St Davids Fundraising Committee to the RNLI. This is a tremendous amount of money raised which the station and RNLI are grateful for.

Pictured from L/R are Lifeboat Operations Manager Capt James Wilcox, Branch Chairman Jeff Davies, Fundraising Chairman Tracy John, Coxswain David John, Gayle Perrie Souvenirs & Mair Davies Treasurer Fundraisers & Divisional Inspector Colin Williams.

 

15th May 2012 - Tamar Capsize Trial

St Davids RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager James Wilcox, Coxswain David John and Mechanic Michael Phillips joined personnel from Moelfre, Porthdinllaen and The Mumbles lifeboat stations to visit the Babcock's Boatyard in Plymouth where the last four of the Tamar class lifeboats are presently under construction. After a tour of the yard to see how the lifeboats are constructed and fitted out the four crews, along with RNLI personnel from the Head Office in Poole and yard staff watched the new Porthdinallen lifeboat undergo capsize trials, which proved to be very successful. The last four Tamars should be completed in the next 12 to 14 months.

The RNLI released the following press release:

RNLI lifeboat personnel from Porthdinllaen have travelled to Plymouth to witness their new Tamar class lifeboat being put through its paces. Their new lifeboat which is expected to arrive on station later this summer has been undergoing capsize trails at Babcocks, where the modern new lifeboat has been made.

Porthdinllaen’s Tamar has been funded by the generous bequest of the late Mr John Dominic Spicer, from Oxfordshire who died on the 7 October 2010. At the request of the executors the lifeboat is to be named RNLB John D Spicer.

RNLI representatives from Moelfre, The Mumbles, and St Davids who are also to be allocated Tamars in the near future, were also in Plymouth to watch the lifeboat in action under controlled conditions. The charity which saves lives at sea is investing nearly £10.8M in new Tamar class lifeboats for each of the four stations.

Planning permission for a new boathouse at The Mumbles has already been granted and plans for Moelfre and St Davids will shortly be lodged with the relevant planning authorities.

All RNLI all-weather lifeboats are inherently self righting and undergo a rigorous righting trial before joining the fleet. Should an all-weather lifeboat be capsized in extreme weather, it will automatically right itself within a few seconds.

The trip to Plymouth has created a renewed air of excitement amongst crews at the four stations, which will see their Tyne class lifeboats being replaced with the faster, technologically advanced Tamar’s over the next two years.

RNLI crews at Porthdinllaen who will be the first to receive their new lifeboat will now undertake Pre-Commission Training at the RNLI’s purpose build Lifeboat College at Poole in Dorset to get to grips with every aspect of the new lifeboat. The boat will be temporarily kept on a mooring whilst work to build a new boathouse at the Morfa Nefyn site gets underway.

RNLI Divisional Inspector Colin Williams says:

‘The Tamar is the most technologically advanced lifeboat ever produced by the RNLI, we owe it to our volunteer crews to provide them with the very best lifeboats. Our ability to provide these fantastic new lifeboats is thanks to the continued generosity of the public for which we are continuously grateful. The fact the charity plans to invest in four new Tamars shows our commitment to improving our service off the Welsh coastline.

‘Witnessing Porthdinllaen’s new lifeboat being capsized under controlled conditions will enable the crews to go to sea with the confidence of knowing that the lifeboat will automatically right itself in the very rare event of a capsize.’

Mr Williams added that the RNLI had faced significant challenges in designing many of these new boathouses:

‘Designing homes for these new lifeboats has not been without its challenges. The support we’ve had from local councils, consultative groups and neighbours should not be underestimated. We thank the public for their continued patience as we provide the necessary bases for 21st century lifeboating.’

The Tamar features the latest technology to enhance its lifesaving capabilities. Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots. The Tamar includes the computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats.

Other features include advanced ergonomics, that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat crashes through waves, and a powered Y boat stored behind a transom door to allow immediate deployment.

The first Tamar went on station at Tenby in Wales in 2006, followed by Angle in 2009.

14th May 2012 - Diamond Jubilee Honour

David John, Coxswain of St Davids RNLI lifeboat (Credit RNLI)

David John, the full-time RNLI coxswain at St Davids, will be one of the crew members aboard the RNLI’s newest all-weather lifeboat – which will be named Diamond Jubilee in honour of the charity’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen – when it takes part in the Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant on Sunday 3 June.

The charity’s latest £2.7M Tamar-class lifeboat, Diamond Jubilee – which will be stationed at Eastbourne Lifeboat Station – will be one of 1,000 vessels making their way along the River Thames on Pageant day. It is set to be the largest flotilla in modern times on the river, with boats of all shapes and sizes stretching for an estimated 12.5 miles.

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family will be on board the Royal Barge, Spirit of Chartwell – the focal point of the flotilla. The new lifeboat’s participation in the prestigious royal event coincides with the final part of Eastbourne RNLI crew’s training and familiarisation with their new lifeboat.

The lifeboat is expected to be placed on station in Eastbourne and ready for active service towards the end of June. Crew members aboard Diamond Jubilee represent the different countries and islands of the British Isles where the RNLI saves lives at sea.

David said:

‘I am very honoured to be chosen to represent the crew members, officials and fundraisers associated with the 31 RNLI lifeboat stations in Wales. The Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant is a wonderful way to celebrate the 60 year reign of the RNLI's patron, The Queen, our volunteers and everyone who supports the work of the RNLI.

‘The closest I'd expected to get to the pageant was watching it on the TV news so it has come as a great surprise that I'll actually be taking part in the event’.

Eastbourne’s new Tamar-class lifeboat replaces the current all-weather lifeboat, which is almost 20 years old. Most of the £2.7 million lifeboat has been funded by two generous legacies and other local fundraising efforts, but the RNLI still needs to raise over £400,000 to make up the full cost.

The RNLI will also be providing inshore lifeboats as safety cover for the duration of the River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

During The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, the RNLI is celebrating extraordinary commitment – of The Queen, and the charity’s volunteers and supporters. For more information – or to make a donation – visit www.rnli.org.uk/celebrate.

 

The following RNLI press release was issued:

Ten RNLI crew members with links to nine lifeboat stations will be aboard the RNLI’s newest all-weather lifeboat – which will be named Diamond Jubilee in honour of the charity’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen – when it takes part in the Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant on Sunday 3 June.

The charity’s latest £2.7M Tamar-class lifeboat, Diamond Jubilee – which will be stationed at Eastbourne Lifeboat Station – will be one of 1,000 vessels making their way along the River Thames on Pageant day. It is set to be the largest flotilla in modern times on the river, with boats of all shapes and sizes stretching for an estimated 12.5 miles.

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family will be on board the Royal Barge, Spirit of Chartwell – the focal point of the flotilla.

The new lifeboat’s participation in the prestigious royal event coincides with the final part of Eastbourne RNLI crew’s training and familiarisation with their new lifeboat. The lifeboat is expected to be placed on station in Eastbourne and ready for active service towards the end of June.

The following crew members will be aboard Diamond Jubileerepresenting the different countries and islands of the British Isles where the RNLI saves lives at sea:

Eastbourne’s new Tamar-class lifeboat replaces the current all-weather lifeboat, which is almost 20 years old. Most of the £2.7 million lifeboat has been funded by two generous legacies and other local fundraising efforts, but the RNLI still needs to raise over £400,000 to make up the full cost.

The RNLI will also be providing inshore lifeboats as safety cover for the duration of the River Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

During The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, the RNLI is celebrating extraordinary commitment – of The Queen, and the charity’s volunteers and supporters.

 

 

3rd April 2012 - RNLI FUNDRAISING NEWS

St Davids RNLI fundraising committee held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 20th March where a new committee was elected. The new committee would like to thank the out going committee members for all their hard work and dedication over the years. Last year they raised £20,897.15 through branch events, donations, box collections and souvenir sales.

The RNLI is a charity which relies on the commitment of local fundraisers to keep the crews equipped with the highest quality boats and equipment. The new committee is looking forward to the challenges ahead and are busy planning events for 2012. As a new committee we are always open to any new fundraising ideas that you may have. Or maybe you are an individual or company that may consider sponsoring an event in the future?

2012 COMMITTEE

CHAIRMAN - Tracy John
VICE CHAIRMAN - Kate Griffiths
TREASURER - Mair Davies
SECRETARY - Mary Edey
BOX COLLECTIONS - David & Mary Haughton
SOUVENIRS - Gayle Perrie
COMMITTEE MEMBERS - Fran Barker, Ros Evans, Rosemary Hampshire, Rita Howells, Carol Ann Jones, Sue King, Val Thomas

EVENTS FOR 2012

7th JULY - Musical Night with Mike Chant @ The Grove
14th AUGUST - Coffee morning @ The City Hall
25th AUGUST - Sponsored Bungee Jump with Extreme Sensations @ The Rugby Club

For tickets/details for any of the above events or if you would like to be informed of future events please contact Tracy John 01437 720272 or email tracyjohn_rnli@yahoo.co.uk

 

17th March 2012 - St Patrick's Day Lunch

st Patricks Day 2012

On Saturday the 17th March St Davids RNLI fundraising committee held a very successful St Patrick's Day Lunch at Bwthyn y Bwyd, St Davids. There were two sittings and take outs meaning that over 75 people were able to enjoy the excellent lunch. The event was sponsored by Mary and James Wilcox, the proprietors, with the main raffle prizes donated by The Farmers Arms, Ivybridge Spa (Goodwick) and Pete's Veg Shop. A grand total of £660 was raised at the event.

The fundraising committee also organised a very well attended Fish & Chip Supper at the Ship Inn in Solva on the 2nd March where a further £682 was raised making March a very successful start on the target of £5,000 to be raised to pay for new lifejackets for the local lifeboat crew.

The fundraising committee are now busy planning the next event on the 7th July. This will be a musical evening with Mike Chant at The Grove Hotel, St Davids.

Further information is available from Tracy John 01437 720272.

Photo shows James Wilcox, Mary Wilcox (proprietors of Bwthyn y Bwyd) and David John Coxswain of St Davids RNLI Lifeboat.

 

26th January 2012 - 40 Years of Lifeboat Service

Malcolm Gray MBE 40 Years

St Davids RNLI deputy launching authority Malcolm Gray MBE has been awarded the Institution’s 40 year badge.

Making the presentation to Malcolm Gray was Rear Admiral John Tolhurst Chairman of the coastal review team. Malcolm has held many posts at St Davids on the launching of the lifeboat and as a crewmember - including serving 12 yrs as coxswain, during which time he was awarded many awards for his seamanship and courage. In January 2005 Malcolm was awarded the MBE for services to the RNLI in its lifesaving work.

He currently holds the post as one of St Davids deputy launching authorities (DLA) which involves authorising the launching of the station’s lifeboat.

 

24th January 2012 - School Visit

Ysgol Bro Dewi Visit 2012

School carries out sponsored silence for St Davids RNLI

On Tuesday (24th January) volunteer crew members from St Davids RNLI lifeboat station attended Ysgol Bro Dewi, St Davids to receive a cheque for £100 which had been raised by school pupils. The pupils had raised the money by carrying out a sponsored silence and decided to present the proceeds to St Davids RNLI in order for the volunteer crew to carry on their lifesaving work.

The St Davids station would like to thank the pupils and staff for their generosity. After the presentation, all of the pupils - in groups of about a dozen - looked over a D class lifeboat which is used for public viewing.

Pictured being presented with the cheque are pupils Lottie Richards and Liam Francis with St Davids RNLI volunteers Mike Rogers and Mike Chant.

 

 

8th October 2011 - Buffet Evening

On Saturday 8th October the 2011 Buffet with Cheese and Wine was held in No 35 Resturant, Solva. The evening was very successful with about 75 people from Solva and St Davids supporting the event.
Allie and the staff of No 35 are to be congratulated on a lovely buffet and service and for donating several prizes into the bargain.  Many thanks also to Rachael from Cwtch, St Davids for donating the wine. Special thanks to all those who donated raffle prizes and to those who worked hard with raffle, door, serving wine, selling cards and souvenirs. 

The evening raised just over £500.00 for RNLI funds and, by all accounts, a good time was had by all.

This event is held annually so we hope to see you all next year!

 

28th August 2011 - Open Day

St Davids RNLI held their Open Day at the lifeboat station on the afternoon of August 28th. Lifeboat volunteers took time to show visitors over both the inshore and all-weather lifeboat and to talk to them about the work of the RNLI in St Davids. At the end of the Open Day both lifeboats were launched to the delight of the large crowd which had gathered.

 

27th August 2011 - Bungee Jump

Daf Price Bungee

Ten people took part in a charity bungee jumping event at St Davids Rugby Club on 27th August. Three member of the lifeboat crew - Dafydd Price, Nick Price and Hal Richardson - were amongst the jumpers. About £1,100 has been raised for St Davids RNLI who are very grateful to all who were involved.

 

25th August 2011 - Deputy Launching Authority Appointed

Malcolm Gray DLA

The former Coxswain of St Davids RNLI lifeboat, Malcolm Gray MBE, has been appointed as one of the station’s new deputy launching authorities (DLA). This position involves authorising the launch of the station’s lifeboats when requested by coastguards.

Malcolm commenced his service with the RNLI in 1965 before leaving in 1966 to join the Merchant Navy. In 1971 he re-joined the RNLI at St Davids serving as a crew member until 1986 when he was appointed 2nd Coxswain. In 1994 he was appointed to the post of Coxswain until he stood down in 2006, on reaching the retirement age for crew members. Over the years he was recognised by the RNLI for many rescues which took skill, determination and courage.

In the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in January 2005 his services to the RNLI were recognised by him being awarded the MBE.

Since 2006 he has continued to be involved in the launching and recovery of the lifeboats in the roles of Shorehelper, Assistant Winchman and Tractor Driver.

His knowledge and experience will continue to be a great asset to the station.

 

7th and 9th August 2011 - Solva Regatta Visits

St Davids inshore and all-weather lifeboats visited Solva early in August 2011. The inshore boat visited the Inshore Regatta on Sunday 7th August whilst the all-weather lifeboat visited the Children's Regatta on Tuesday 9th August. Large crowds at the harbour took the opportunity to look over the boats and talk to crew members about their work as RNLI volunteers.

 

8th June 2011 - Lifeguard Exercise

Lifeguard Ex 2011

Lifeguard Ex 2011

Lifeguard Ex 2011

St Davids RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched on the evening of 8th June for a scenario based exercise with the Whitesands RNLI lifeguards. The exercise was based on a scenario whereby a small fishing boat had capsized in the surf and the 3 occupants, one of which was apparently drowned, needed to be rescued from the sea and evacuated to safety.

Thanks to Tony Dunmore for the photos.

 

3rd June 2011 - TV Filming: Ffion's Big Day

Ffion's Big Day

As the half term holidays come to a close, Ffion Wall from Swansea has plenty to report to her class mates as she returns to Bryn-y-Môr school after spending the day with the RNLI last Friday.

Ffion, 5 years old, had a tour of St Davids Lifeboat Station with Dai John, the station Coxswain, before spending the afternoon with the RNLI lifeguards at Whitesands beach. The big day was arranged by ‘Ceidiog’ who were filming Ffion and her family for ‘Y Diwrnod Mawr’ (the Big Day) TV programme which will be broadcast on S4C in a few weeks.

Dai John showed Ffion and her family around the lifeboat station and a special guided tour of their all-weather lifeboat Garside. The lucky school girl was then taken to Whitesands beach where she met her cousin, Meg Jones, RNLI lifeguard to learn more about beach safety and her lifesaving work on Welsh beaches.

Ffion said:

‘I had a great day with the RNLI. I can’t wait to tell my friends at school all about my day with the RNLI.’

‘Y Diwrnod Mawr’, a programme targeted for 4-8 year olds will be broadcast on S4C in the summer. Pictured Ffion with Elin Jones RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor.

 

1st June 2011 - Kit Rog Out a fundraising success!

Kit Rog Out

RNLI kit cost inspires Pembrokeshire volunteer to launch online fundraising drive

St Davids RNLI volunteer Roger Smith set up an online appeal to raise cash for the charity, after discovering that the crew’s personal protective equipment cost over £900.

Roger decided to set up an the appeal to raise the money and with help from family and friends and raised over £1,250 for the RNLI.

Roger says:

‘The RNLI provides the very best training and equipment to enable volunteers like myself to do our job in the safety possible way. As a crew member, I am only too aware that this obviously costs money and as a charity, it’s essential that the RNLI continues to raise funds to continue saving lives at sea. It is important that as crew we also assist with any fundraising and hopefully this will encourage other members of the public to look at how they can also support our crews.

‘I am amazed at the amount my online appeal raised and I would like to thank everyone who made it a success.’

Pictured is one of the many supporters making a presentation to Roger are Joyce Watkins & Aileen Oliver from De Clare Court in Haverfordwest.
Aileen had knitted cuddly toys of the Royal Family for the Royal Wedding, which she later raffled with proceeds going to Roger’s target.

 

28th May 2011 - Helicopter Exercise

Helo Ex 0

Helo Ex 1

St Davids RNLI inshore and all-weather lifeboats carried out an exercise with Rescue Helicopter 169 from RAF Chivenor in Devon on Saturday 28th May. The lifeboats carried out a number of winching manouvers with the helicopter and four lifeboat crew members were winched up to the aircraft. After a successful exercise the helicopter landed in a field close to the lifeboat station where they were met by the St Davids coastguard team.

After lunch at the lifeboat station the helicopter crew's planned exercise with Fishguard lifeboat had to be delayed as the aircraft was called to an emergency at Manorbier.

 

18th May 2011 - St Davids RNLI Annual General Meeting

AGM 2011

On the evening of Wednesday May 18 at the St Davids Rugby Club the annual St Davids RNLI AGM was held, where a cheque presentation was made to the station's Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain James Wilcox. Making the cheque presentation  of £21,256.11 was Fran Barker chair of the Friends of St Davids RNLI Station.
The money was raised over the past 12 months by the group who are all volunteers. Congratulations to the fundraisers on yet another successful year, in raising vital funds for the continued lifesaving work of the RNLI. Pictured are the fundraisers together with members of the station's branch committee.

 

10th April 2011 - Kit Roger Out!

Roger Fundraising

St Davids lifeboat crew member Roger Smith is raising money to buy a full set of personal lifeboat gear - waterproofs, drysuit, boots, helmet, lifejackets, etc. Altogether it costs £960 to kit out a lifeboat crew member for both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats and Roger is looking for people to support him by donating online at JustGiving.com. To donate follow the link ... Kit Rog Out!

 

4th March 2011 - Solva Fish and Chip Evening

The Solva Fish and Chips Evening held at the Cambrian on March 4th,  6.00pm - 9.00 raised £1400.00 from tickets, raffle and donations. The event was organised by St Davids RNLI Fund-raising Branch and especially Pat Jobson and Rosemary Hampshire. The Cambrian was extremely generous and did not charge for meals. Chips were donated by Gwyn Davies and vegetable oil by Celtic Oil. Many thanks to all who helped to make the event such a success. 

 

4th February 2011 - SOS Day

St Davids RNLI fundraisers held the annual "Sip Our Soup" event at the City Hall, St Davids to raise funds for the RNLI's SOS day. This successful event raised over £350 for the St Davids RNLI.

 

1st January 2011 - New Year's Day Swim

The annual New Year's Day swim organised by local charity the Penknife Club took place at Whitesands beach with St Davids all-weather and inshore lifeboat's in attendance. The swimmers were raising money for St Davids RNLI and the Porthmawr Surf Lifesaving club.

 

26th November 2010 - Presentation to Retired DLA

Roy Thomas MBE, who retired earlier this year as Deputy Launching Authority (DLA), was presented with a certificate for his service to the lifeboat station at St Davids at the St Davids RNLI annual lifeboat dinner held on the 26th November. Roy first served as a shore helper and lifeboat crew member from 1957 to 1970. He then served as a Deputy Launching Authority between 1994 until January 2010, making a total of 29 years service and Roy is still contributing to the work of St Davids RNLI today as the station's Vice-Chairman. The RNLI at St Davids wish to thank Roy for his work over the years.

Roy Thomas MBE Lifeboat Service Certificate

Pictured making the presentation of the service certificate to Roy is the station's Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain James Wilcox.

Roy Thomas MBE Framed Pictures
Roy was also presented with photos of the lifeboats which were at the station during his service, they were framed and signed by the Coxswain, Crew and Station Officials.

 

6th November 2010 - Unveiling of Memorial Plaque

Ieuan Bateman Plaque

Brothers John Bateman (left) and Byron Bateman with the plaque for their brother Ieuan.

Sunday November 6th saw the unveiling of a plaque at St Davids Memorial Gardens in memory of 21yr old St Davids RNLI crewmember Ieuan Bateman who lost his life in the service of rescuing others.
 
A dedication service was carried out by the Dean of St Davids Jonathan Lean and unveiling by the Mayor of St Davids Councillor John Lloyd. The present day coxswain and crew were in attendance together with Ieuan's family and St Davids RNLI Station Officials.
 
On November 8th 1956 the lifeboat "Swn-y-Mor" launched on service to the aid of the French Trawler "Notre Dame de Fatima" which was in difficulties and sinking approximately 4 miles off Skolholm Island. A coastal command Shackleton plane had marked the spot with flares and the crew of eight on the trawler were successfully rescued during several encircling runs alongside, requiring considerable seamanship by Coxswain Dai Lewis. The lifeboat then made for Milford Haven rather than return to St Justinian as the weather was so bad.
 
Twice the "Swn-y-Mor" was submerged by following waves when the lifeboat was off St Ann's Head. When she righted herself Ieuan Bateman had gone, his body was washed ashore at West Dale two days later. The French Government posthumously awarded him the Lifesaving Silver Medal 1st Class and the French Lifeboat Society awarded the Bronze Medal and Diploma.
 
Ieuan was the first of four brothers to serve with the RNLI - Byron retired following an injury whilst on service having served for 37years, Roland sadly died in 2009 after 39 years service and John served for 42 years and is currently Deputy Launching Authority at St Davids station.

 

30th October 2010 - Presentation to Captain James Wilcox (LOM)

Captain Wilcox Presentation

Captain James Wilcox (left) receiving his award from Sir Robert Hastie (RNLI Vice President)

St Davids RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) Capt James Wilcox has recently had his service recognised. The Council of the RNLI wish to recognise James for over 10 years service to the Institution. James commenced his service with the RNLI in 1999 as a Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) until he took over from the then (LOM) Mr Jeffery Davies in 2008.

The duties involve the overseeing of the station operations together with the responsibility of authorising the launch of lifeboats at the station when the call comes of persons in distress.

 

13th October 2010 - The Centenary of the Loss of the Gem

Large crowds gathered in St Davids on Wednesday 13th October to mark the centenary of the ‘Gem Lifeboat Disaster’ when the lifeboat “Gem” was wrecked and three of her crew drowned.

St Davids  was bathed in sunshine and the seas were still, which was in sharp contrast to what it was like 100 years ago.

Present-day coxswain David John explained “The Gem had been launched in a north easterly gale with rough seas in the early hours of the 13th October 1910 following the sighting of distress flares in Ramsey Sound.  It took the crew about an hour to row the mile across the Sound to the ketch “Democrat” which had 3 men on board.  With great difficulty the lifeboat got alongside the ketch and took off the crew.

Under oars, the lifeboat was unable to make headway against the wind and tide and the lifeboat was swept onto the Bitches Reef and wrecked.  Fifteen men survived by clinging onto the wave-swept rocks for over 12 hours until they were rescued by two boats from St Davids.  However, three of the crew – Henry Rowlands, James Price and Coxswain John Stephens - did not survive.  Their bodies were recovered the next day.”

The St Davids all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched at 9 o’clock to lay a wreath near to where the accident happened.  At the same time, officials from the station placed a wreath on the memorial marking the three graves at St Davids cemetery.

At noon a service of remembrance was held at St Davids Cathedral with the bishop of St Davids, Wyn Evans, giving the sermon.  Around 60 relatives of the 1910 crew and rescuers had gathered amongst the congregation to mark the centenary.  A minute’s silence was held and then a bell rang out three times, once for each of the lifeboatmen that had been lost.

Sir Robert Hastie, Vice-President of the RNLI, unveiled a new plaque in the Memorial Gardens on the Cross Square in St Davids that has been erected to remember those that died and the circumstances in which they lost their lives.

Wreath at St Davids Cemetery

Laying of wreath at the Bitches Reef

Unveiling of wreath on the Cross Square

Gem Memorial Plaque at the cross Square

 

11th October 2010 - St Davids Historical Society Talk

Coxswain David John gave a talk to the St Davids Historical Society on Monday evening entitled "The History of the Lifeboat Gem and her Tragic Loss". A large number of people attended to hear about the history of the Gem which was stationed at St Davids from 1885 until 1910. A display of photographs and other documents was arranged by David John and Dr George Middleton.

 

29th August 2010 - Open Day

Sunday 29th August saw St Davids RNLI's annual open day which was again attended by a large number of people with the largest numbers down to see the lifeboats launching at 4.30pm. St Davids RNLI would like to thank everyone for their support.

 

9th August 2010 - TV Filming

S4C Filming 2010 Jamie Roberts speaking to crew member Peter Roberts about the RNLI's work.

Members of the St Davids RNLI inshore and all-weather lifeboats welcomed a TV film crew from Boomerang on Monday 9th August. The film crew were at St Davids with Welsh International and British Lions star player Jamie Roberts to film a medical exercise for a programme to be shown on S4C in October. Earlier the same day the cameras were at Whitesands Beach to record a feature with the RNLI Lifeguards.

 

7th August 2010 - Solva Regatta

The St Davids all-weather lifeboat visited the regatta at Solva on Saturday 7th August. Following a warm welcome from the crowd the lifeboat was moored up alongside the quay for about an hour to allow adults and children to look over the lifeboat and talk to the crew.

 

30th July 2010 - Friends of St Davids RNLI Donation

Cheque Presentation 30-07-10

The Friends of St Davids RNLI presented a cheque for £21,147.20 to the St Davids RNLI Lifeboat Station. The money was raised in the St Davids and Solva area over the past 12 months by the group who are all volunteers. Congratulations to the fundraisers on yet another successful year!!

Pictured L/R James Wilcox St Davids Lifeboat Operations Manager, Fran Barker Chair (Friends of St Davids RNLI), Shiela Tobin Vice Chair (Friends of St Davids RNLI) & David John Coxswain of St Davids Lifeboat.

 

29th April 2010 - Standing Stones Donation

Standing Stones Donation

On the evening of Wednesday the 28th April, local chamber ensemble "The Standing Stones" came along to St Davids RNLI lifeboat station to make a donation. The group who are Ysgol Dewi Sant school pupils were formed in the summer of 2009 by Local Polish-born composer and concert pianist Iwo Zaluski. They have performed at many local events and on January 31st performed at a concert at Mathry Church. The group decided to donate their fee of £50 to St Davids RNLI for which the station is very grateful

Pictured making the presentation to Deputy Launching Authority John Bateman is the group Elena & Luke Jenkins, Ella& Ben Sutton and their manager Iwo Zaluski.

 

29th April 2010 - Lifeboat Garside Returns

Thursday 29th April saw the return of St Davids Lifeboat "Garside" to station. The lifeboat has spent the last five months away in a boatyard in Great Yarmouth having her 5 yearly refit.  During this time the lifeboat was completely stripped of all her equipment and given a new coat of paint.  She was then reassembled, serviced and tested to the high standards under which the RNLI operates.  While the Garside was away the relief tyne class lifeboat "The James Bibby" was on station.

 

26th April 2010 - Friends Of St Davids RNLI Lifeboat AGM

On Monday 26th of April the Friends Of St Davids RNLI held their annual general meeting. During the evening it was announced that £21,147:20 had been raised during the year up until the 31st of December 2009. This was a fantastic amount and St Davids RNLI would like to thank all their supporters for the, monies which will enable them to carry on their Lifesaving work.

In attendance at the AGM was Beverley Rosser-Smith (Area Fundraising Manager) and Colin Williams (Divisional Inspector). Both gave a talk on fundraising ideas and the operational side of the RNLI.

A new committee was elected as follows:

Chairman: Fran Barker
Vice Chairman: Shiela Tobin
Secretary: Julie Rogers
Treasurer: Maureen Owen
Box Secretaries: Mary & David Haughton
Sue King, Gale Perie plus five others.

Anyone wanting to get involved with fundraising please contact the Lifeboat Station  01437 720215


15th April 2010 - St Davids RNLI Information Appeal Lifeboat Gem - 13th October 1910


Lifeboat Gem 1910

On 13th October it will be one hundred years since the St Davids Lifeboat “Gem” was wrecked in Ramsey Sound with the loss of her coxswain, John Stephens, and two of the crew * Henry Rowlands and James Price.
 
The lifeboat crew had successfully rescued the three man crew of the ketch “Democrat” when she was driven onto the Bitches reef. Twelve of the lifeboat crew and the three crew from the “Democrat” survived for 14 hours on wave swept rocks until they were rescued by local boats that had put out from Porthclais. Sydney Mortimer received an RNLI Silver Medal for his part in the rescue.
 
St Davids RNLI is planning to commemorate the centenary and would like to know the names of relatives of the lifeboatmen (including those that survived the disaster) and their rescuers. We're also looking for any photographs or information relating to the “Gem” and her crew.
 
Jim Phillips, Lifeboat Press Officer, said "We are especially keen to hear from relatives of the three lifeboatmen that died. We know that John Stephens had a stepson John Gilbert James who in 1910 was living in Cardigan. Henry Rowlands had four children James, Rhys, Eleanor and Edward who were all grown up at the time of the disaster. Whilst James Price had a brother John living at Treliwyd, St Davids in 1910 and we believe that another relative, Mrs Moore, contacted the RNLI about 10 years ago but do not have any contact details."
 
If you are able to assist or have any information, please contact Coxswain David John at the lifeboat station 01437 720215 (email: dai_john@rnli.org.uk) or the Lifeboat Press Officer Jim Phillips on 07791 121039 (email: jimphillipsrnli@hotmail.co.uk).

 

7th April 2010 - Coffee Morning

On Wednesday 7th April St David's RNLI Fundraising Branch successfully raised £1016.18 at their coffee morning. A big thank you to everyone who made this such a successful event, in raising vital funds for the RNLI to carry on its life saving work.

1st April 2010 - Gem Lifeboat Disaster - Information Request

Lifeboat Gem 1910

On 13th October it will be one hundred years since the St Davids Lifeboat “Gem” was wrecked in Ramsey Sound with the loss of her coxswain, John Stephens, and two of the crew – Henry Rowlands and James Price.

The lifeboat crew had successfully rescued the three man crew of the ketch “Democrat” when she was driven onto the Bitches reef. Twelve of the lifeboat crew and the three crew from the “Democrat” survived for 14 hours on wave swept rocks until they were rescued by local boats that had put out from Porthclais. Sydney Mortimer received an RNLI Silver Medal for his part in the rescue.

St Davids RNLI are planning to commemorate the centenary and would like to know the names of relatives of the lifeboatmen and their rescuers. We're also looking for any photographs or information relating to the “Gem” and her crew.

If you are able to assist or have any information, please contact Coxswain David John at the lifeboat station 01437 720215 (email dai_john@rnli.org.uk) or the Lifeboat Press Officer Jim Phillips on 01437 721532.

31st March 2010 - St Davids RNLI Videos

A number of videos relating to St Davids lifeboats have recently been put onto You Tube.  Some are quite old (1950s or 1960s) some are recent and most are interesting ... take a look!

Swn-y-Mor Part 1 

Swn-y-Mor Part 2 

Americans Discover St Davids Lifeboat Part 1

Americans Discover St Davids Lifeboat Part 2 

Willie Morris 

Launch of St Davids Lifeboat (2007)

St Davids Lifeboat Launch POV 

Lifeboat Launch 

Nicola Copley 

St Davids ILB

 

5th March 2010 - Fish & Chips Success

St Davids RNLI Fundraising Branch had a very successful event on Friday 5th of March, by holding a Fish & Chip evening at the Cambrian Inn Solva. The event was organised by the Solva Ladies section of the branch. A total of 1098.52 was raised on the night, essential funds which will aid the RNLI in its lifesaving work.

St Davids RNLI would like to thank everyone who made this such a successful evening, especially
Mr Adrian Moule (proprietor of the Cambrian Inn) for the use of his facilties.

  

29th January 2010 - SOS Day  

IAt a well attended and enjoyable "Sip Our Soup" event held at St Davids City Hall on Friday 29th January over 300 was raised for RNLI funds. The fundraising committee would like to thank everyone who helped to make the event a success.

A film crew from S4C's Wedi 3 programme visited St Davids to film both the fundraising and the lifeboat interviewing James Wilcom (Operations Manager), David John (Coxswain) and Anona Gray (Fundraiser) for the programme.

10th January 2010 - Lifeboat Related Funerals

St Davids branch members were saddened to hear recently that Branch Vice-Chairman Bob Jenkins and former lifeboat crew member Idwal Chapman had passed away.  Bob Jenkins had served on the local branch committee for a number of years serving as Chairman.  In 2008 Bob stood down as Chairman to become Vice-Chairman.  Lifeboatman Idwal Chapman was a volunteer crew member during the 1970s.  He was a crew member on the MFV7 rescue in 1978 when Coxswain William Morris was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal.

 

8th January 2010 - Prize Winning Photograph

A St Davids RNLI volunteer has been awarded a prize in the charity's Photographer of the Year competition, announced today at the London International Boat Show on the 8th of January.

The lifesaving work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was captured by Matthew Cox, a crew member at St Davids lifeboat station. Matt was crowned runner up in the rescues category of the competition with his picture of the St Davids inshore lifeboat going to the aid of a fishing boat in strong tides.

"A local fishing boat had hit a submerged rock and got stuck on it," said Matt.

Prize Winning Picture - Vital Spark

"Because the tides in that area around the south end of Ramsey Island are horrendous, we sent in the inshore lifeboat to take the casualties off before assessing the situation.

"Once they were off safely we sorted a tow out with the all-weather lifeboat and took them back to harbour."

He added: "I was amazed to come runner up. I'm not a photographer and don't own a camera, but on that day the mechanic gave me his camera and I just snapped away."

Eleanor Driscoll, RNLI Film and Image Manager, and head judge of the competition said: "This picture shows a rescue as it's happening. Our volunteer crews respond to anyone, whether it's people who are at sea to earn a living like this fisherman, or those on the water for fun."

1st January 2010 - New Year's Day Swim 2010

New Years Day Swim 2010

St Davids RNLI inshore lifeboat attended the annual New Year's Day Swim at Whitesands Beach.  The event was organised by a local charity, the Penknife Club, to raise funds for St Davids RNLI and the Porthmawr Surf Lifesavers.


31st December 2010 - Relief Lifeboat at St Davids

St Davids RNLI Tyne class all-weather lifeboat "Garside" is currently in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk for her 5 yearly refit. The lifeboat is being totally stripped down to see that everything is in order.  It is anticipated that she will return to St Davids in April, in the meantime another Tyne class lifeboat "The Good Shepherd" is on station ready for service.


14th November 2009 - Annual Dinner

St Davids RNLI held their annual dinner at the Grove Hotel, St Davids onthe evening of Saturday 14th November.  Deputy District Inspector Andy Hurley was present to represent the RNLI and make the following presentations:

The presentation of the RNLI Chairman's Framed Letters of Thanks to the crew of St Davids ILB for the rescue of three young women from the cliffs at Caerfai on August 5th 2008 as detailed below:

Caerfai Resecue Crew 5-08-08

L-R Nicholas Phillips, Simon Thornton, Andy Hurley, Gareth Morris and Simon Twitchen.

Helmsman Nicholas Phillips

Helmsman Simon Thornton

Crew Member Simon Twitchen

Crew Member Gareth Morris

St Davids Lifeboat Station

 

On behalf of the Council of the RNLI, I write to congratulate you all on your courage, teamwork and tenacity during a service on 5 August 2008, which resulted in the saving of three lives.

Following an alert from the Coastguard at 1939, both of the St Davids’ lifeboats had been launched within minutes of each other, just before 2000.  Nicholas Phillips was at the helm of D-543, RNLB St David Dewi Sant, and his crew were Simon Thornton and Simon Twitchen.  It had been reported that three young women were trapped on rocks at Caerfei Bay.  Both lifeboats reached the scene at 2010.  Coastguards were on the cliffs above the women, who were huddled together at the base of the cliffs.  There was also a man on another rock some 30 feet away.  With waves breaking in front of the rocks and the gully in between, a direct approach was not possible, and nearby large rocks precluded veering down.  Shallows prevented the all weather lifeboat getting close. 

Gareth Morris, on board the ALB, donned a drysuit so that the inshore lifeboat crew could be augmented and at the same time a request for a helicopter was made.  At 2025 Nicholas handed over the helm to Simon Thornton, who was more familiar with the area.  The rising spring tide was now causing waves to reach up to the women’s waists, and the helicopter was not expected to be on scene for a further hour.  At this point Gareth transferred to the inshore lifeboat. 

At 2030 Simon Thornton steered the inshore lifeboat to within 15 metres of the base of the cliff.  Simon Twitchen entered the sea and swam to the rocks and, using the swell to lift him, he succeeded in climbing to the women and briefed them on the rescue plan.  The lifeboat closed the rocks again and Gareth also entered the sea.  Simon Twitchen had wedged his feet into the rocks to support himself in the breaking swells.  The first woman was nervous but was persuaded to jump and, once clear of the white water, she swam towards the lifeboat.  Gareth was hindered by his drysuit and lifejacket and was slower than the woman but once she was in the lifeboat, he started to return to the rocks.  He then observed that his drysuit was leaking. 

Gareth returned to the lifeboat, Nicholas resumed the helm position and Simon Thornton entered the sea.  As Simon approached the rock the second woman entered the water and started to panic.  Simon calmed and encouraged her as they swam to seaward and, seeing her reaching the safety of the lifeboat, prompted the last woman accompanied by Simon Twitchen to jump into the sea to gain the safety of the lifeboat. 

Nicholas transferred the three women and Gareth to the all weather lifeboat and then returned to the two Simons swimming in the sea.  The women were treated for hypothermia as soon as they were aboard the larger lifeboat.  Meanwhile, the inshore lifeboat crew had been observing the man who had been on another rock but having seen him return safely to the beach, Nicholas recovered his two crew members and both lifeboats returned to station. 

Each of you demonstrated courage, excellent teamwork, tenacity, and personal skill and your actions saved three young lives.  

Well done!
 

Admiral the Lord Boyce GCB OBE DL

Chairman

St David's RNLI Lifeboat Second Coxswain Award

Clive Hayes - 20 Years
 
St David's RNLI lifeboat 2nd Coxswain Clive Hayes has been awarded with a 20yr service badge.
 
Clive was officially enrolled as a crew member in July 1989. He was appointed Deputy Second Coxswain in 1994 and became 2nd Coxswain in 1995.
 
He was also an Inshore Lifeboat crew member from it's arrival in July 1997 until November 1998.
 
He has been on some notable callouts receiving a Vellum Service Certificate for the Blackfriars Rescue in 1999, and also a Framed Letter of Thanks for the Western Belle rescue in 2008 when he sustained broken ribs.
 

St David's RNLI Volunteer Crewman Resigns

Huw Thornton 2009
  
St David's RNLI Lifeboat volunteer crewman Huw Thornton has  resigned from the crew in September owing to work and personal commitments.
 
Huw joined the crew in 1999 but an eyesight problem it prevented him going on the lifeboat, so he was enrolled as a shore helper and served as Deputy Head Launcher from 1999 to 2006.
 
Following revised eyesight requirements he became an ILB and ALB crew member in 2003.
 
The RNLI station at St David's wish him well for the future.

Couple Make Sponsored Walk Up Snowdon For St David's RNLI

Mr & Mrs White, Grove Hotel
 
Grove Hotel ,St Davids Manager & Manageress Mr & Mrs Barry White have recently completed a sponsored walk up Snowdon Mountain and have collected 304.50 for the St Davids Branch of the RNLI.  The money was presented at the Annual Lifeboat Dinner which was held at the Grove Hotel.  The RNLI would like to place on record their gratitude to them both.  Pictured L-R David John, Sheilah Tobin, Janette White, Barry White.
 

12th November 2009 - Former Coxswain William Morris has Passed Away

Coxswain William Morris

We are sad to report the passing of former Coxswain William (Bill) Morris aged 89 years on Thursday 12th November.  Bill was coxswain between 1968 and 1981 receiving the RNLI's Bronze Medal in 1978 for rescuing the vessel MFV7 and her 7 crew.  As 2nd Coxswain he was awarded the RNLI's Thanks on Vellum for his role in the rescue of the crew of the Notre Dame de Fatima in 1956 and was a crew member on the lifeboat Swn-y-Mor in 1956 when Coxswain Watts-Williams was awarded a Silver Medal for the rescue of the 35 man crew.

1st November 2009 - Station History Published

Dr G W Middleton MBEBook Cover

St Davids RNLI are pleased to announce the publication of the latest edition of “The Story of the St Davids Lifeboats” by Dr George Middleton MBE.

The book was first published in the early 1970’s and told the history of the station from it’s opening in 1869 when a rowing and sailing lifeboat was kept on a carriage in the centre of St Davids.  It also covers the tragic events of 1910 when the lifeboat “Gem” and three of her crew were lost in Ramsey Sound and the various award winning rescues performed by the crews over the 140 years that the station has been open.  This latest version brings to story right up-to-date in 2009. 

Thanks to the sponsorship of several local companies all proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the St Davids Branch of the RNLI.

The book is available from Dr George Middleton, 52 Bryn Road, St Davids, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6QU priced at 3.00 including P&P for one copy or 5.50 for two copies. 

Copies are also available from St Davids Bookshop, 5a The Pebbles, St Davids or directly from the lifeboat station at St Justinians.

15th October 2009  -  New Tractor for Station

Tractor - Porthclais

Thursday the 15th of October saw the arrival of a new tractor at St Davids RNLI Lifeboat Station for the purpose of launching and recovering the station's Inshore Lifeboat.  Because of the inaccessibility of the stations the only way to deliver the tractor was by sea.  This was accomplished with the assistance of Derek Rees and his landing craft "Ramsey Trader" built locally by Robust Boats.  The tractor left Porthclais Harbour on board the craft and made it's way successfully to the RNLI station.  Accompanying the tractor with Derek was the St Davids Lifeboat Mechanic Michael Phillips.

Tractor - Porthstinan

25th September 2009  -  Chicken & Chips  -  Press Release

St Davids RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain James Wilcox and his wife Mary sponsored a Chicken & Chips evening at St Davids RFC clubhouse on Friday evening of 25th of September, with over 1,000.00 being raised for the RNLI.  The event was organised by James and Mary together with members of the lifeboat crew who helped in selling tickets for the evening.

The meal which was served with a pudding was prepared by Mary and she was assisted by Muriel Barton, Sheila Tobin, Rita Howells, Julie Rogers & Pat Thomas. The evening was a total success and thanks are extended to raffle prize contributors, in particular to Clive & Cindy of Thousands Islands Expeditions who donated a pleasure trip which raised 120.00 in a auction.

Special thanks also to St David's Rugby Club for the use of their clubhouse and facilities.

3rd September 2009 - RNLI Memorial Unveiled

The RNLI have unveiled a memorial at the Lifeboat College in Poole to the lifeboat crew members who lost their lives on service since it's foundation in 1824. the St Davids station has lost four crew members since it was opened in 1869 - Coxswain John Stephens, Henry Rowlands and James Price in the Gem disaster of 1910 and Ieuan Bateman on the Notre Dame de Fatima rescue in 1956.  The St Davids station was represented by John Bateman (Deputy Launching Authority) whose is a brother to Ieuan Bateman.  As a mark of respect the RNLI flag was flown on the Cross Square in St Davids and at half mast from Rhosson Rock and the Lifeboat Station.

http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/news/news_detail?articleid=478478

30th August 2009 - Open Day

St Davids RNLI lifeboat station held it's open day on Sunday 30th August.  Despite poor weather several hundred people visited the station to look over the lifeboats and talk to crew members and officials.  Both the inshore and all weather lifeboats were launched after the Open Day with a large crowd gathered along the cliff tops to watch the launch.

Matthews Family 2009 The Matthews family and Coxswain David John.

During the day several people made donations to the station including the Matthews family from Kent who raised 100 by organising a Talent Show on the camp site at Pencarnan.  Many thanks to everyone who supported the event.

20th August 2009

Bungalow Fundraisers

Two families visiting St Davids have raised over 20 for the Lifeboat Crew at St Davids Station.  The families, from Bedfordshire, were staying at St Justinians Bungalow which overlooks the lifeboat station and are pictured presenting the money to Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain James Wilcox.

18th August 2009

Recently awards have been presented to two long-term supporters of the RNLI branch in St Davids.

Mr Jim Phillips was awarded an RNLI Statuette in recognition of the 10 years service that he has given to the station as the Lifeboat Press Officer. Jim has worked hard over the years to maintain the station's profile in the media helping to promote the work of the RNLI on TV and radio and in the local and regional press.

Jim Phillips Presentation

Jim Phillips is presented with his Statuette by RNLI Inspector Colin Williams

Mrs Pat Mayoh was presented with the RNLI's Gold Badge at the Solva Regatta on the 16th August 2009. Pat became a member of the Ladies Guild committee in 1985 becoming Treasurer and Box Secretary the following year. Pat stood down as Treasurer in 1997 but continued as Box Secretary until earlier this year. The St Davids branch has approximately 80 collection boxes distributed in the area raising an average of 8000 each year.

Pat Mayoh Presentation

Mrs Pat Mayoh receives her Gold Badge from Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain James Wilcox

The RNLI in St Davids would like to thank Pat and Jim for their support. Without the dedication of volunteers such as these the RNLI would not be able to continue it's lifesaving work.

 

16th and 18th August 2009

St Davids inshore lifeboat attended the Solva Regatta on Sunday 16th August and the all-weather boat the Solva Children's Regatta on Tuesday 18th August. A large number of people took the opportunity to look over the lifeboat and talk to the crew whilst they were at the harbour.

 

2nd August 2009

St Davids inshore lifeboat attended the Porthclais Children's Fun Day.

 

25th July 2009

The inshore and all-weather lifeboats launched for the Round Ramsey Rowing Race where they acted as safety boats. There were eighteen boats competeing this year - a record number of entrants.

 

20th July 2009 - Press Release

ILB Crew from 5-8-08

L-R Gareth Morris, Simon Thornton, Nicholas Phillips and Simon Twitchen

 

St Davids RNLI crew to receive awards for courageous rescue

RNLI helmsmen Nicholas Phillips and Simon Thornton and RNLI crew members Simon Twitchen and Gareth Morris are to be recognised for saving three lives last summer. They will receive a Framed Letter of Thanks from RNLI Chairman Admiral the Lord Boyce congratulating them on their teamwork and tenacity during a rescue on 5 August 2008.

Both St Davids RNLI lifeboats launched within minutes of each other following reports that three young women were trapped on the rocks at Caerfei Bay. Coastguards were on the cliffs above the women, who were huddled together at the base of the cliffs. With waves breaking in front of the rocks and the gully in between, a direct approach was not possible.

A helicopter was called for, but was not expected for another hour. The rising spring tide was causing waves to reach up to the women’s waists. Simon Thornton steered the inshore RNLI lifeboat within 15 metres of the cliff and Simon Twitchen entered the sea and swam to the rocks. He used the swell to lift him, and succeeded in climbing to the women.

The RNLI lifeboat closed the rocks again and Gareth Morris also entered the sea and helped the first woman to reach the lifeboat. Simon Thornton then entered the sea and encouraged the second woman to swim seaward to the safety of the lifeboat. Seeing her friend reach the lifeboat prompted the last woman accompanied by Simon Twitchen to jump into the sea and head for the lifeboat.

Helmsman Nicholas Phillips transferred the three women and Gareth Morris to the all-weather lifeboat and then returned to Crew Members Thornton and Twitchen swimming in the sea. The three women were treated for hypothermia on board the larger lifeboat. Meanwhile, the inshore RNLI lifeboat crew had been observing a man who had been on another rock but having seen him returned safely to the beach, Nicholas Phillips recovered his two crew members and both lifeboats returned to station.

In his letter, Admiral The Lord Boyce, RNLI Chairman says:

‘Each of you demonstrated courage, excellent teamwork, tenacity and personal skill and your actions saved three young lives – well done!’

The award will be presented to the crew during a ceremony later this year.

 

4th July 2009 - Press Release

 Drilling Rig 2009

Friday 3rd of July 2009 saw the appearance of a Drilling Rig to commence work in preparation for the proposed construction of a new lifeboat station at St Justinians, St Davids. The rig will carry out test drilling on the ocean bedrock for piling to hold the new boathouse.  The work on a new boathouse is crucial for the arrival of the new "Tamar Class Lifeboat", a vessel which is vital for the continuing life saving work of the RNLI.

A scientific and environment survey has already taken place.  Work will take approximately 2-3 weeks.

 

24th June 2009

The lifeboat "Garside" has been brought back to St Davids from Holyhead following repair and the relief lifeboat "Max Aitkin III" has been taken to Portishead Marina.

 

8th May 2009

The St Davids lifeboat "Garside" (47-026) has been taken to Holyhead for repairs to be carried out to damage which occurred whilst on service. The relief lifeboat "Max Aitkin III" (47-018) has been brought from Poole.

 

28th April 2009

We are very sad to report the death of Roland Bateman from cancer on Tuesday 28th April 2009. Roland was 55 years old and had been a crew member and shorehelper at St Davids for 39 years. Details of his recent retirement can be found below. Roland will be greatly missed by all his friends at St Davids RNLI.

 

6th March 2009 - Retirement After 39 Years Service

Roland Bateman Presentation

On 6th March 2009 St Davids lifeboat crew member Roland Bateman retired from the RNLI due to ill health.  Roland commenced his service in 1970 as a shore helper.  In 1974 he was appointed Assistant Head Launcher in which capacity he served until 1979 when he became a crew member on the all-weather lifeboat.  From 1996 until 1999 Roland also served as a crew member of the inshore lifeboat.

Roland received the RNLI’s long service badge in 1990.  During his 39 years service he has served with five Coxswains and the St Davids Lifeboats have saved 126 lives. 

On the night of the 21st December 2004 Roland was a crew member when the lifeboat rescued three people from the Brixham based trawler “Yves Marie Amil”.  The trawler was on fire in gale force conditions.  This rescue was recognised by the RNLI with Coxswain Malcolm Gray receiving the RNLI’s Thanks on Vellum and the crew Service Certificates and a letter of appreciation from the RNLI’s Director of Operations, Michael Vlasto.

Pictured receiving his Service Certificate at his home is Roland Bateman (centre), Coxswain David John (left) and Captain James Wilcox, Lifeboat Operations Manager (right).

 

30th January 2009 - SOS Day

Over 500 was collected in St Davids for RNLI funds on SOS Day this year through the 'Share Our Soup' event at the City Hall, fundraising by the pupils of Ysgol Bro Dewi and donations received. Many thanks to everyone who supported us!

 

1st January 2009 - Announcement of Awards

Congratulations to Roy Thomas who is a Deputy Launching Authority for St Davids RNLI Lifeboat on the announcement of his MBE in the New Year's Honours for services to the community of St Davids.

The RNLI have announced that Mrs Pat Mayoh, our Box Secretary, is to receive the RNLI's Gold Badge in recognition of her work over many years in organising the distribution of collection boxes and for the St Davids Branch.

The RNLI have also announced that Mr Jim Phillips, Lifeboat Press Officer for St Davids, is to be given an RNLI Statuette in recognition of his 10 years service to the station.

 

1st January 2009 - New Year's Day Swim

New Year Swim 2009

On an icy New Year's Day the St Davids all-weather and inshore lifeboats attended the annual swim held by the Penknife Club at Whitesands Beach. The RNLI will be one of the charities benefitting from the sponsorship money raised by the swimmers who participated - approximately 50 in number.

 

22nd December 2008 - BBC TV Item

Crew member Robin Copley appears on the BBC's Breakfast programme talking about his work with the RNLI:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7795018.stm

 

17th December 2008 - Award Presentation

Second Coxswain Clive Hayes was presented with his Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the RNLI at the crew's Christmas Party held at the Farmers Arms, St Davids.

Clive Hayes Presentation

Pictured: James Wilcox (LOM), 2nd Coxswain Clive Hayes and Coxswain David John

 

 

6th December 2008 - Helicopter Exercise

Helicopter Exercise 2008

St Davids all-weather and inshore lifeboats exercised with the Sea King helicopter from RAF Chivenor in Devon this morning. Crew members were able to experience and practise transfers to and from the helicopter.

 

 

29th November 2008 - Annual Dinner and Awards Presentation

The annual Lifeboat Dinner was held at the Warpool Court Hotel, St Davids on Saturday 29th November. During the course of the evening award presentations were made to Jeffrey Davies who retired as the station's Lifeboat Operations Manager in July and to six of the seven crew members that were aboard the lifeboat for the 'Western Belle' rescue in March which resulted in vellum awards being presented.

Annual Dinner 2008

Pictured: Jestyn Martin, Andy Iceton, Padrig Rees, Robin Copley, Ian Gray (Back Row)

Colin Williams (RNLI Inspector), Jeffrey Davies (Former LOM), David John (Coxswain)

 

24th November 2008 - New Inshore Lifeboat On Service

D-704 and D-543 Photo by Lyndon Lomax

St Davids new inshore lifeboat 'Myrtle and Trevor Gurr' (D-704) has replaced the lifeboat 'Dewi Sant / St David' (D-543) at station following sea trials and crew training. Further crew training will take place over the coming weeks.

 

23rd November 2008 - Inshore Lifeboat Dedication Ceremony - Press Release

ILB Naming Photo by Lyndon Lomax

St Davids RNLI Inshore Lifeboat "Myrtle and Trevor Gurr Naming Ceremony

Sunday 23rd of November 2008 at 2pm saw the naming ceremony carried out on St Davids RNLI new inshore lifeboat.
 
The lifeboat which cost 31,000 was donated to St David's Lifeboat Station through the generously of Mr Richard Gurr from Solihull in the West Midlands in memory of his late parents "Myrtle and Trevor Gurr".
 
The ceremony was carried out in the St David's Cathedral due to the inclement weather by kind permission of the Dean of St Davids the Very Reverend Wyn Evans.
 
The service started with Mr Richard Gurr handing over the lifeboat to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and in his speech he stated how proud he was that a lifeboat was to be named after his parents, he also spoke of the admiration he had for the bravery and courage of the lifeboat crew.
 
Mr Colin Williams Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats (West Division) accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and delivered it into the care of St Davids Lifeboat Station and gave a brief history of D class lifeboat which became operational in the 1960's and have proven to be a very effective tool in the RNLI's life saving work and this new D class IB1 with greater speed and technology will prove to be a great asset to the station.
 
Captain James Wilcox, St Davids Lifeboat Operations Manager, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of St Davids Station and thanked the donor Mr Richard Gurr for his genorous gesture to the RNLI.
 
St Davids Lifeboat Coxswain David John gave a vote of thanks to the donor and invited Mr Richard Gurr to name the lifeboat "Myrtle and Trevor Gurr".

ILB Naming 2 Photo by Lyndon Lomax

 

17th November 2008 - New Inshore Lifeboat - Press Release

D Class Lifeboat - IB1

Event: Naming ceremony of St Davids' new inshore RNLI lifeboat

Venue: Cross Square, St Davids, Pembrokeshire

Date/time: Sunday, 23 November 2008 at 2pm

Britain's smallest city hosts RNLI naming ceremony

There will be celebrations in Pembrokeshire this weekend, as St Davids' new RNLI inshore lifeboat, worth 31,000, is officially dedicated in the heart of the city centre.

The new lifesaving vessel has been generously funded by Mr Richard Gurr, from Solihull in the West Midlands, and will be named in memory of his parents, Myrtle and Trevor Gurr.

Members of the public are invited to join 120 invited guests to witness the momentous occasion, which will take place at The Cross. The volunteer RNLI crew are looking forward to welcoming Mr Gurr. He will make the journey to Pembrokeshire to honour the memory of his mother and father, and will officially name the lifeboat Myrtle and Trevor Gurr.

Mr Gurr says:

'Despite the fact I couldn't live further from the sea now, our family home was in Southend-on-Sea and my father especially enjoyed building small boats and being on the water. My parents would be delighted to know their memory lives on in such a worthwhile voluntary organisation. They would be incredibly proud that a lifeboat had been named after them, especially in such a wonderful location.

'Having lived in and around cities for most of my life, I was impressed by the friendliness of the people of St Davids during my recent visit. I received such a warm welcome from the St Davids RNLI crew and recognise the lifeboat is an integral part of the community life and will be delighted to be associated with her.'

The new era of lifesaving at St Davids is tinged with some sadness, as the station bids a fond farewell to its first operational D-class lifeboat St Davids - Dewi Sant. The vessel first entered service at St Davids in December 1998 and has chalked up an impressive rescue record. Launching more than 80 times and rescuing 21 people, it has served the St Davids RNLI volunteer crew exceptionally well.

James Wilcox, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at St Davids says:

'As a charity, the RNLI depends entirely on voluntary contributions and legacies. We are most grateful to Mr Gurr for this very generous donation. The new D class lifeboat is an improved version of the former version, which increases the top speed capability from 20 to 25 knots and means we can attend an emergency situation quicker. There have been a number of other improvements including an updated GPS navigation system, which improves the accuracy of locating casualties.

'We are looking forward to this significant event and to welcoming Mr Gurr and his family and friends to St Davids, to share this historic day.'

28th August 2008 - Ex-Lifeboat at Holyhead

swn-y-mor holyhead Photo by Holyhead RNLI

The press officer of Holyhead RNLI lifeboat sent the above picture of the Swn-y-Mor at the traditional boats event. More information is available at the Holyhead Lifeboat website.

 

 

27th August 2008 - Ex-Lifeboat Returns - Press Release

Swn-y-Mor 2008 

Wednesday 27th August saw a welcome visitor to St David's RNLI Lifeboat Station, it was the 'Swn-Y-Mor' a 46ft Watson Class Lifeboat which had served at St David's from 1936 until 1963. She was donated to the RNLI by the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund at a cost of 7,618:00. She was not of the self-righting design, and during her time on service launched 90 times saving 108 lives.
 
During the war years among the rescues performed was one in particular was a search for survivors from two landing craft which were overwhelmed in rough seas off Milford Haven. In 1954 she rescued 35 crew members from the tanker 'World Concord' which had broken in two in a severe storm. Sadly in November 1956 crewmember Ieuan Bateman lost his life by being swept overboard as the lifeboat was approaching Milford Haven, following the rescue of 8 crew of the French trawler 'Notre Dame de Fatima'. There is a brass plague on the lifeboat to commemorate Ieuan's loss.

For the past 28yrs the 'Swn-Y-Mor' has been owned by Dr Warren Scott and his wife Jill, and has spent several years travelling the world visiting many countries such as Sardinia, Malta, Italy, Greece and Martha's Vineyard in the USA to name but a few. The lifeboat has been awarded many trophies and cups when entering various traditional boat shows. In 2006 the ex-lifeboat had a partial refit at Martha's Vineyard in the USA.
 
After an over night stay secured to the lifeboat moorings at St Justinian she was wished bon voyage by RNLI personnel at the station as she left for Holyhead in North Wales where she is making an appearance at a traditional boat meeting.

 

 

29th July 2008 - Crew to Receive RNLI Vellum Awards - RNLI Press Release

RNLI crew honoured for dramatic 14-hour rescue in gale force conditions

Western Belle Crew

St Davids Lifeboat Crew receiving awards for the 'Western Belle' rescue (L-R)

Front: David John, Jestyn Martin, Andrew Iceton - Rear: Robin Copley, Padrig Rees, Clive Hayes, Ian Gray

David John, 40, Coxswain of the St Davids RNLI lifeboat, is to be accorded the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, in recognition of a courageous rescue in difficult conditions. Second Coxswain Clive Hayes, 54, is to be awarded a Framed Letter of Thanks signed by RNLI Chairman Sir Jock Slater in recognition of his efforts. Duty Mechanic Andrew Iceton, 43, Deputy Second Coxswain Robin Copley, 43, Deputy Second Coxswain Ian Gray, 33, Second Mechanic Jestyn Martin, 31, and crew member Padrig Rees, 27, will each receive a Vellum Service Certificate for their part in the rescue.

The awards are in recognition of a rescue on 6 March 2008, when the RNLI crew spent an exhausting night towing in the 80ft fishing vessel Western Belle. The stricken vessel was drifting without power in gale force winds south west of the Smalls, with six people on board. The St Davids RNLI lifeboat’s journey to the stricken vessel was so turbulent, the lifeboat was turned through 180 degrees by the five metre seas, with two of the volunteer RNLI crew sustaining injury on route. One of the crew was slightly injured when caught by a heavy roll of the lifeboat while another RNLI volunteer suffered two fractured ribs.

As the RNLI lifeboat approached the Western Belle, a merchant vessel, the Victress hadstood by to warn other passing traffic of the disabled craft, which was unlit. Its Captain Ryvingen Larsen, Master of the MV Victress has also been awarded a Letter of Appreciation signed by RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto.

The St Davids RNLI lifeboat was launched into a south-westerly gale, rough seas and a three metre swell at 11.35pm. The fishing vessel was located some two and a half hours later with her working deck area awash. Coxswain John placed the lifeboat’s stern close enough to the fishing vessel’s bow for a heaving line to be passed and a tow was secured. Rough seas meant the RNLI Tyne class lifeboat could only travel at a speed of four knots.

Due to the conditions, the tow parted at 3.41am and then again at 6.30am, which took some time to recover before the journey to Milford Haven could re-commence.

Matt Crofts, RNLI Deputy Divisional Inspector for the West says:

‘The wind and tidal stream was setting the fishing vessel north north westerly and re-connection of the tow had to take place in an area known as the Wild Goose Race.  The severe conditions of breaking seas, shoal patches and over falls meant that the seas were breaking over the lifeboat as the Coxswain manoeuvred it to approach the fishing vessel and receive the tow.’

By 7.13am, the tow was re-established and as the tide was now ebbing, the speed of the tow was at times reduced to 2.5 knots. The tow was shortened twice in the next hour to improve the control of the Western Belle and at 10.30am the tow was passed to the tug Valour, which took her to an alongside berth. The St Davids RNLI lifeboat then went alongside at Milford Haven and the crew rested, had some food and effected temporary repairs before departing at 12.25pm, eventually returning to station at 1.38pm.

Mr Crofts continues:

‘This was a long rescue in very difficult conditions which really tested the endurance of the volunteer RNLI crew. Coxswain David John did a tremendous job in persevering to securing a tow in gale force winds and rough seas while maintaining the morale of the crew during this extremely uncomfortable rescue at sea. The journey home to Milford Haven was long and turbulent - the successful conclusion really is a testament to courage and bravery of the RNLI crew who really did put their experience and training to the test.’

See also St Davids RNLI Services 2008

Cox and 2nd Cox Coxswain David John and 2nd Coxswain Clive Hayes

Western Belle The 'Western Belle'

Track

Approach

 

21st July 2008 - Retirement of Lifeboat Operations Manager - Press Release

Jeff Davies Retirement

Pictured: Jeff Davies (Retiring LOM), David John (Coxswain) and James Wilcox (New LOM)

Monday the 21st July saw the retirement of St David's Lifeboat Operations Manager Jeffrey Davies. Jeff has served the RNLI at St Davids for the past 43 yrs in different capacities. He joined the Lifeboat Committee in 1965 until 1982 when he became a Deputy Launching Authority (DLA).
 
In 1990 he became the Hon Secretary which today is known as the LOM a position which carries many responsibilities with the running of the station and authorisation of lifeboats to launch on service. In May 2007 he was awarded the RNLI's Gold Badge for his dedicated work with the lifeboat service.
 
Jeff will still be connected with the station as he has recently been appointed St David's Lifeboat Branch Chairman.
 
His succesor is Capt James Wilcox who has served as a DLA for over 8 yrs and, he has in turn has appointed two new DLA's Tony Pearce and John Bateman and they will join with a current DLA Roy Thomas.

 

26th June 2008 - Brawdy YFC Cheque Presentation - Press Release

Brawdy YFC Cheque Presentation

On Thursday 26th June, Brawdy Young Farmers Club (BYFC) presented a cheque for 400.00 to St David's RNLI Lifeboat Station. The monies had been raised by their fundraising events and the RNLI is very grateful for the donation towards their running costs.
 
Pictured making the presentation to David John (Lifeboat Coxswain) and Jeff Davies (Lifeboat Operation Manager) are (BYFC) Chairman Mike Harries and Secretary Lydia Salmon.
 
Also pictured are young farmers members together with lifeboat crew members at the rear.

 

16th June - South Wales RNLI volunteers are honoured

John James Presentation

Dedicated Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) supporters from across South Wales received awards for their hard work and dedication, during a presentation ceremony at Tenby Lifeboat Station on 16 June, 2008. 

Among the awards presented were the following from St Davids:

Gold badge

Maureen Owen

St Davids - Fundraising Treasurer

Silver badge

Sue King

St Davids - Souvenir Secretary

Statuette

John James St Davids - Branch Treasurer

 Beverley Rosser Smith, RNLI Area Fundraising Manager says:

‘The awards ceremony gave the RNLI an opportunity to say thank you to volunteers across South Wales, who work tirelessly to ensure the RNLI can continue saving lives at sea.

‘If it weren’t for our dedicated fundraising volunteers, RNLI crews would not be able to continue rescuing 22 people every single day. The awards were thoroughly deserved and enabled us to show all the volunteers how much their hard work is appreciated.’

 

9th June 2008 - Fundraisers Presentation - Press Release

Belmont Presentation 2008

On Monday 9th of June Mr & Mrs Michael Beckett of Belmont Gift Shop were presented with a framed letter of thanks from the RNLI for their dedicated support to the lifeboat service.
 
Mr & Mrs Beckett have been supporting the RNLI for fourteen years and in that time have collected a considerable amount of money towards the running of the lifeboat service, the RNLI are very grateful for their support.
 
Pictured presenting the certificate to them are Fundraising Committee members Box Secretary Mrs Pat Mayoh, Acting Chairman Mrs Sheilah Tobin and Treasurer Mrs Maureen Owen, together with Lifeboat Operations Manager Mr Jeff Davies, Coxswain David John plus crew members.

 

20th May 2008 - St Davids RNLI Branch AGM - Press Release

The St David's RNLI AGM was held at St David's Rugby Club on Tuesday evening, present were Divisional Inspector Andy Clift and Divisional Inspector Colin Williams who be taking over from Andy on June 1st. A number of items were discussed including the arrival of a new D Class Inshore Lifeboat in approximately two months.

The Lifeboat Operations Manager Mr Jeff Davies praised the efforts of the St David's RNLI Ladies Fundraising Committee and others in raising such a fantastic total towards the running of the RNLI.

AGM 2008

Pictured from left to right is Acting Chairman Mrs Sheilah Tobin, Treasurer Mrs Maureen Owen & Box Secretary Mrs Pat Mayoh from the fundraising branch presenting a cheque for 16,777:51 to Lifeboat Operations Manager Jeff Davies & Coxswain David John.

 

 

17th May 2008 - RNLI Letter of Thanks to Helmsman

The RNLI recently issued the following press release:

Praise for St Davids RNLI helmsman

RNLI volunteer Nicholas Phillips has received a letter of appreciation from the charity’s Operations Director Michael Vlasto, for braving near gale force conditions to rescue a man who became stranded whilst attempting to rescue his boat.  

Nicholas has been commended for his actions as helmsman of the station’s inshore RNLI lifeboat during the service on 31 January, 2008. Milford Haven Coastguard requested the launch of St Davids’ lifeboat at 10am following reports that a craft had broken away from its moorings. The owner had climbed down a cliff to board the vessel and start the engine, but prevailing weather conditions led to him becoming stranded. 

The RNLI lifeboat was launched into heavy breaking seas with two metre swells and a Force 7 near gale. RNLI volunteers Michael Rogers and David Ward were also on board. 

In his letter Mr Vlasto says: 

‘The lifeboat proceeded to the casualty where it was brought alongside and held there while the owner was taken off and subsequently landed safely at the lifeboat slipway. 

‘This brief but very effective service was carried out at or near the operating limits of a D class inshore lifeboat and resulted in the safe landing of a man ashore.  Well done.’ 

Helmsman Nicholas Phillips Helmsman Nicholas Phillips

 

14th March 2008 - Press Release

Lifeguards

Lifeguards wanted to make RNLI history in Wales

The RNLI has today launched a recruitment drive as it gears up for its first lifeguarding season in Wales. The charity is looking to take on some 45 RNLI lifeguards, to patrol 12 Pembrokeshire beaches this summer.

Pembrokeshire County Council has become the first council in Wales to join forces with the RNLI to provide lifeguards on its beaches from Poppit Sands to Amroth. The charity is keen to hear from anyone with a nationally recognised beach lifeguarding qualification to apply for one of the positions via the RNLI’s website http://www.rnli.org.uk/ and follow the recruitment links.

Potential lifeguards are being offered the opportunity to achieve a basic life guarding qualification by attending a week-long training course. Newport Surf Lifesaving Club will run a course during the second week of the Easter break, which will leave delegates in a position to apply for a one of the RNLI lifeguard positions. Candidates are invited to contact local Surf Lifesaving Clubs for further details on the exciting training opportunity.

The new lifeguarding team will be led by RNLI Divisional Lifeguard Manager Neil Thomas. A former Police Officer with Dyfed Powys Police, Neil has more than 20 years experience in lifeguarding and is an RNLI crew member at St Davids, where he has volunteered for over 12 years.

He will be supported by Phil Davies, a former Pembrokeshire County Council lifeguard supervisor and leisure centre duty officer, who takes up the role of RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor.

Neil says:

‘The RNLI is driving forward professional lifeguarding to provide a seamless rescue service from the beach to the open sea.  We are looking forward to working in partnership with the local Surf Livesaving Clubs and with county council to recruit suitable candidates and provide a high-level professional lifeguard service.

‘We are keen to hear from returning lifeguards and also from new lifeguards who want to come and work in a professional environment. Training will be more expansive than ever before and there will also be opportunities for career progression, as well as full-time positions.’

The lifeguard season in Pembrokeshire will run between 28 June and 6 September, with a two-week training session planned to commence on 16 June. It is hoped the lifeguard season will be expanded in the future, as the service   
develops to keep the beaches of Pembrokeshire safer for longer.

Launching a lifeguard service in Wales is an exciting move for the charity which already has 31 RNLI lifeboat stations in the country. RNLI lifeguards will work closely with the volunteer RNLI crews to provide safety cover from the beach to the sea. Beaches to benefit from the RNLI’s lifeguard service include Poppit Sands, Newport Sands, Whitesands, Newgale,  Broadhaven North, Dale, Lydstep, Tenby South, North, and Castle, Saundersfoot and Amroth.

This is a community partnership between the RNLI and Pembrokeshire County Council and as a charity, the RNLI relies on voluntary contributions and legacies for income.The RNLI will be relying on the continued support of the public as it brings this new venture into frution.

 

16th February 2008 - St Davids -v- Fishguard RNLI Darts Match

Darts Match 2008

Crew members from St Davids RNLI and Fishguard RNLI met for their annual darts match. Last year St Davids won the cup despite most of the team leaving part way through for a call-out. 2008 was a different matter with Fishguard winning a close fought match 6 games to 5. Pictured above - St Davids Coxswain David John congratulates Fishguard Coxswain Paul Butler on their win!!

 

8th January 2008 - Volunteer Awards

Three volunteers from the St Davids lifeboat station are to receive awards in recognition of their work on behalf of the RNLI. Maureen Owen (Fundraising Treasurer) is to receive an RNLI Gold Badge, Sue King (Souvenir Secretary) is to receive an RNLI Silver Badge and John James (Branch Treasurer) will receive a Statuette.

 

5th November 2007 - Donation Press Release

St David's Lifeboat Operations Manager Mr Jeffrey Davies was recently presented with a donation of 350 by the Camrose Craft Ladies. Making the presentation was ladies member Mrs Llewellyn and it took place in the home of another ladies member Mrs Wilson.

St David's RNLI station is very grateful for this gift which will go towards the training of crew members and running of the station.

26th August 2007 - Open Day

The annual Open Day attracted hundreds of visitors to the boathouse to look onboard the lifeboats and talk to crew members and other volunteers. Following the open day both lifeboats launched for a short exercise watched by a large number of people from the cliff tops.

 

5th and 7th August 2007 - Solva Regatta

Solva Regatta 2007

St Davids ILB attended the Solva Inshore Regatta on Sunday 5th August. On August 7th the ALB attended Solva's Children's Regatta which is celebrating it's 50th anniversary year. The lifeboat was moored alongside the harbour wall to allow members of the public to get aboard and view the boat and speak to the crew.

 

28th July 2007 - Ramsey Rowing Race

Both the St Davids all-weather (ALB) and inshore (ILB) lifeboats attended the Ramsey Island Rowing Race in which 15 boats (4 and 6 oared) were competing on an 8 mile course. Along with a number of other vessels, the lifeboats provided safety cover for the event.

 

15th July 2007 - Porthclais Community Day

St Davids inshore lifeboat 'Dewi Sant/St David' attended the Community Day held at Porthclais Harbour. Despite the heavy rain over 70 children took part in the event and the ILB was on hand to assist one of the rafts which was being tested in preparation for the raft race.

 

27th June 2007 - Station Visit

St Davids Brownies 2007

St Davids Brownies visited the lifeboat station and were given a tour of the station and lifeboats by members of the lifeboat crew.

 

23rd June 2007 - School Fete

Ysgol Bro Dewi Fete 2007

St Davids ILB and lifeboat crew members attended the Ysgol Bro Dewi, St Davids school fete. The aim of the visit was to raise the profile of the RNLI amongst local school children.

 

4th June 2007 and 9th June 2007 - Television Appearance

The St Davids Lifeboat and crew members past and present will be appearing on the television programme "Cefn Gwlad" on the 4th June at 8:25pm and on the 9th June at 9:05pm on S4C. Filming took place in 2006 with Dai Jones the presenter. The programme is in Welsh with English sub-titles available by pressing 888.

 

30th May 2007 - Annual General Meeting

AGM 2007

The St Davids Branch of the RNLI held it's Annual General Meeting at the Rugby Club in St Davids on 30th May. A cheque for 25,772.23 was presented to the RNLI by members of the St Davids Ladies Lifeboat Guild. Pictured making the presentation on behalf of the Guild is Treasurer Mrs Maureen Owen and Acting Chairman Mrs Sheila Tobin.

Recieving the cheque on behalf of the station is Mr David John (Coxswain) and Mr Jeff Davies Lifeboat Operations Manager.
Also pictured are station personnel and Mr Andy Clift (Inspector of Lifeboats West Division).

Jeff commented on what a great effort had been put into raising this sum by the Guild and other fund raisers. Mentioned at the meeting was the good news that a Tamar class lifeboat and new station would be provided by 2012, also that a new IB1 inshore lifeboat would be arriving on station in 2008.

The station would also like to record its heart felt thanks to members of the public for their unstinting support.

 

17th May 2007 - St David’s RNLI Volunteer Receives Royal Honour

Jeff DaviesJeffrey Davies - Gold Badge

St David’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mr Jeffrey Davies, was presented with a Gold Badge by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent at the charity’s annual presentation of awards, at the Barbican Centre, London on 17 May, 2007. The dedicated supporter, who has been a member of the St David’s branch/guild for 42 years, has been honoured for his long and loyal service to the Institution by the charities trustees.

Jeffrey was thrilled to be presented with the Gold Badge award during the prestigious London ceremony, which is part of an age-old tradition recognising the invaluable commitment of the lifesaving charity’s volunteers.

RNLI Regional Fundraising Manager Phae Comber says: ‘As a charity which relies entirely on voluntary contributions, the RNLI is indebted to volunteers such as Jeffrey who do so much to support our lifeboat crews and help RNLI volunteer crews to continue saving 22 people every single day. The RNLI has over 1,200 fundraising branches and guilds, supported by volunteers such as Jeffrey who work tirelessly to raise the 330,000 per day it costs to run the lifeboat service.'

Jeff joined the Lifeboat Committee in 1965 and has held various posts since he became DLA in 1982. In 1990 Jeff became Honorary Secretary. St David’s lifeboat station has a very high public profile with around 60,000 tourists visiting our premises each year. This brings with it a certain degree of extra responsibilities and Jeff attends several meetings each year with National Park, local and County Council representatives as they seek to manage the implications of hosting so many tourists to a rural area. For his dedication and commitment to the RNLI, Jeff is strongly recommended for the award of a Gold Badge.

Jeff commented “I was delighted and honoured to receive my gold long service badge by HRH Duke of Kent. I feel very privileged to be part of a dedicated and successful lifeboat crew and management committee”.

 

5th April 2007 - Tamars earmarked for Welsh stations - Press Release

Tamar Class Lifeboat

Lifeboat Operations Managers (LOMs) at St Davids and The Mumbles got word on Thursday, 5 April, that the RNLI Trustees have approved the replacement of the stations’ Tyne class lifeboats with Tamar class lifeboats.

St Davids LOM Jeff Davies says: ‘I was absolutely delighted to receive this letter securing the future of St Davids RNLI lifeboat station. It demonstrates a real commitment from the RNLI to invest in our future and enable our volunteer crew to save even more lives at sea.’

The 2.5M Tamar, at 16m and capable of a speed of 25 knots, is bigger and faster than the Tyne. Its state-of-the-art safety features include a new seat design to protect crew members’ spines in rough conditions. An award-winning on-board computer system enables crew to carry out many tasks remotely, meaning they can be strapped into their seats for extra safety.

Divisional Inspector Andy Clift says: ‘This is the first step in a very long journey, which will involve fundraising, planning, design and shoreworks before the dream is made a reality.

‘The RNLI is a unique charity and has to plan well ahead into the future to ensure funds are in place to bring our plans off the drawing board.

‘It is envisaged that the Tamar will arrive on station at The Mumbles in 2011 and at St Davids in 2012.’

5th December 2006 - Annual Dinner - Press Release

 Annual Dinner 2006


The annual St Davids Lifeboat Dinner was held at the Warpool Court Hotel, St Davids on Friday the 1st December.  Following the dinner the following presentations were made:

A Long Service Badge was presented to the new full time coxswain of St Davids Lifeboat, Mr David John, by Mr Andy Clift (Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats West).

The gift of a Bolton Wanderers FC shirt, signed by the 2006 squad, was presented to ex-Coxswain Malcolm Gray MBE by the new full time coxswain David John on behalf of the crew.  Malcolm is a lifelong supporter of Bolton and, although he has stood down as coxswain, will continue on the launch and recovery side of the lifeboat.

Henry Griffiths was presented with a long service certificate by Mr Andy Clift (Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats West).  Henry was also presented with a brass clock by Mr Jeffrey Davies (Lifeboat Operations Manager) on behalf of the crew.  

Henry joined the RNLI in 1958 and has completed 48 years service to the St Davids Lifeboat Station. Henry is the third generation of his family to hold the post of winchman at the station, his grandfather served from 1909 until 1934, followed by his father the late Ivor from 1923 until his retirement in 1973.  Henry took over the post of winchman from his father which he held until earlier this year.

Henry's mother the late Mrs Ivy Griffiths also gave wonderful support to the station being a member of the ladies guild ending with being President and recieving the RNLI's Gold Badge and Bar.  The family association continues today with Henry's son David who began in 1999 and became Head Launcher in 2001.   So far over 130 years service has been made by the Griffiths family which the RNLI is very grateful.

Mrs Anona Gray and Mrs Eileen Griffiths were then presented with flowers.

Following the presentations the group was photographed - pictured from left to right above are:

Rear: Mr Jeff Davies St Davids Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mr Malcolm Gray MBE (ex coxswain) St Davids Lifeboat, Mr Andy Clift Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats West, Mr Henry Griffiths (ex winchman) St Davids Lifeboat, Mr David John (coxswain) St Davids Lifeboat.

Front : Malcolm's wife Anona and Henry's wife Eileen


8th November 2006 - Memorial Launch - Press Release


Ieuan Bateman  Ieuan Bateman

Members of the St Davids RNLI Lifeboat crew will join with relatives of the late Mr Ieuan Bateman on the 8th November to lay wreaths to mark the 50th Anniversary of his death.  

Ieuan Bateman was a crew member onboard the RNLI lifeboat Swn-y-Mor which launched on the 8th November 1956 to the aid of the French trawler ‘Notre Dame de Fatima’ which was in distress approximately 4.5 miles from Skokholm Island in extremely severe and dangerous conditions.

The lifeboat crew successfully rescued the eight crew members onboard the trawler and were heading into Milford Haven when the lifeboat was swamped two by large following waves whilst off St Anns Head.  It was discovered that Ieuan Bateman had been washed overboard.  His body was recovered two days later at West Dale Bay.

The French government posthumously awarded Ieuan Bateman the Lifesaving Silver Medal 1st Class and the French Lifeboat Society awarded him the bronze medal and diploma.  Coxswain David Lewis was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal.

Ieuan Bateman’s brothers Byron, John and Roland have together served for over 100 years as crew members of the St Davids Lifeboat.

LOM and Bateman Brothers  Jeffrey Davies (LOM) with Roland, Byron and John Bateman

The present Coxswain and crew of the St Davids Lifeboat felt that it was important to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Ieuan Bateman in giving his life whilst attempting to save others as a crew member of the RNLI.



2nd October 2006  -  New Coxswain Appointed  -  Press Release

Coxswains

Pictured from left to right is David John aged 38 who on October 2nd was appointed as the new full time coxswain of St David's lifeboat and Malcolm Gray MBE aged 57 who has stood down as coxswain a post he held for twelve years.

David began his career with the RNLI in June 1986 joining his father Fred John who was coxswain of the lifeboat at the time.  David has been on many service calls over these last twenty years - too  numerous to mention.  One in particular, a call out in December 2004 to the  fishing vessel "Yves Marie Amil" which was on fire, the lifeboat crew managed to save three lives.  This call out was recognised by the RNLI when the crew received vellum certificates for their efforts in what were atrocious conditions.

David was made Deputy 2nd coxswain in 1996 and Training co-ordinator in 2002.  Everyone associated with the lifeboat station wish him well in his new appointment.  David's father Fred was coxswain from 1981 until 1988.

Malcolm first joined the crew in 1965 before joining the Merchant Navy in 1966 until 1971 when he rejoined the crew of St David's Lifeboat.  He has carried out many rescues some of which have been recognised by the RNLI.  The rescue of the vessel "Marigold" which Coxswain Fred John had a Vellum certificate in 1986 also he was 2nd coxswain on the rescue of the "Stephanie Jane" where coxswain David Chant was awarded a Bronze Medal and his crew Medal Service Certificates in 1989.

In 1994 he was made coxswain and has been on many rescues - two of which were recognised, the saving of the tanker "Blackfriars" in December 1999 and the "Yves Marie Amil", on both occasions coxswain and crew were awarded vellums.

Malcolm also has two of his children serving on the crew, his son Ian and daughter Gillian.  Malcolm has also stated that he is only standing down as coxswain he will  continue to be part of the launching crew.

18th September 2006  -  Charity Walker



On Monday 18th September charity walker Mrs Jannina Henderson from Bath called into St David's lifeboat station during her walk around the entire coast of Britain.  She is pictured with from left to right St David's Lifeboat Operations Manager Mr Jeff Davies and former lifeboat crew member Mr Byron Bateman.  Mrs Henderson is collecting funds for four different charities the RNLI being one of them.  She started her walk in Lyme Regis on January 1st and has walked anti clockwise around Britain covering 3,600 miles to date.  She has approximately 1.500 miles to go and hopes to arrive back at Lyme Regis late October.

For further details of her walk and how you can support her please visit her web site on www.walkingthewalk2006.com

Lifeboat Open Day - 27th August 2006

On Sunday 27th of August St Davids lifeboat station held a very successful annual open day.  Visitors to the station were able to look over the lifeboats and learn about how the station operates.  After the open day the lifeboats launched on exercise.  Funds were boosted by a donation made to the station of 700 by children who were on holiday at Newgale camping site.  The children are pictured presenting their donation to St Davids Lifeboat Operations Manager Jeff Davies.  The RNLI is very grateful for this donation.

Awards for Lifeboat Crew  -  8th April 2005 - Press Release

Lifeboat crew from St Davids are to receive awards from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for braving rough seas in the darkness to rescue three men stranded on board the Yves Marie Amil which burst into flames on 21 December, 2004.

Coxswain Malcolm Gray (MBE), 55, is to be accorded the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum for his courage, determination and display of seamanship under adverse weather conditions. Six crew members are to receive vellum service certificates and a Letter of Appreciation signed by RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto.

Deputy Second Coxswains David John, 37,and Robin Copley, 40, Station Mechanic Michael Phillips and Second Mechanic Jestyn Martin, 28, will receive the accolade for their part in the rescue as will crew members Roland Bateman, 50, and Nicholas Phillips, 20.

Captain Michael Poole, master of the Isle of Inishmore ferry is also to receive a letter of appreciation from Mr Vlasto for the seamanship he demonstrated in locating the fishing boat, illuminating the area and manoeuvring his vessel to provide a lee.

 

New Year Award for Coxswain - 31st December 2004  -  Press Release

Royal honour for lifeboat Coxswain

Malcolm Gray, Coxswain of St David’s RNLI lifeboat in Pembrokeshire is thrilled to have been awarded an MBE as part of the Queens New Year's Honours.

The award is in recognition of Mr Gray’s 33 years of service to the RNLI. He was a dedicated volunteer, and then Second Coxswain until becoming Coxswain 10 years ago.

It is not the first time the father-of-four’s courage and commitment has been recognised. He was awarded the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum for his tenacity, determination and seamanship during a service to the 1,500 ton tanker Blackfriars on Christmas Eve, 1999.

More recently, Mr Gray, who has a son and daughter on the crew, was in command of the station’s all weather lifeboat during the rescue of three people on board a fishing vessel, which burst into flames on 21 December.

 

Lifeboats on Refit - December 2004

The St Davids lifeboat 'Garside' (47-026) has been transferred by road to Lowestoft for refit.  She has been replaced on station by the relief  lifeboat 'Sarah Emily Harrop' (47-037) which has previously provided relief cover at St Davids.  The 'Garside' is shown below arriving at Lowestoft.  Photo courtesy of Scott Snowling.

Meanwhile, the inshore lifeboat 'Dewi Sant / Saint David' (D-453) has been sent for her annual refit and has been replaced on station by 'Corydd' (D-476).

 

Annual Lifeboat Dinner - November 2004

The annual lifeboat dinner was held this year at the Grove Hotel, St Davids where crew members and guests enjoyed a pleasant evening.

 

Round Ramsey Rowing Race - August 1st 2004

St Davids lifeboats 'Garside' and 'Dewi Sant / Saint David' attended the Round Ramsey Rowing Race to assist with safety cover for the seven participating rowing boats and a large number of spectator boats.

 

Solva Regatta - July 27th 2004

St Davids all-weather lifeboat 'Garside' attended the Solva Children's Regatta where a large number of children were able to look over the lifeboat whilst she was moored alongside the harbour wall.

 

Solva Regatta - July 25th July 2004

St Davids inshore lifeboat 'Dewi Sant / Saint David' attended the Solva Regatta.

 

Ex-Lifeboat Returns - 5th August 2003

Swn-y-Mor at St Davids

The ex-St Davids lifeboat 'Swn-y-Mor (Civil Service No 6)' paid a visit to St Davids with her owners Warren and Jill Scott.  It's her first return to St Davids in about 10 years.  The Swn-y-Mor is now much travelled (over 84,000 miles!) having been to such places as Australia, San Francisco, Alaska and the Great Lakes - next stop is Sardinia!  Although she looks quite different, having been converted for sailing, there are still plenty of reminders of her lifesaving past.  Amongst these is a plaque remembering crewman Ieuan Bateman who was lost overboard in 1956.

 

St Davids Lifeboat Attends Solva Regatta - 3rd August 2003

'Garside' at Solva Regatta

The St Davids lifeboat 'Garside' paid a courtesy visit to the Solva Regatta on Sunday 3rd of August.  The lifeboat tied up alongside the quay for about an hour and allowed members of the public to come on board and look over the boat.  On Tuesday the 5th August the inshore lifeboat attended the Solva Children's Regatta.

 

Lifeboat Crew Assist Injured Woman - 11th July 2003

Members of the lifeboat crew assisted the crew of a local passenger boat in landing an injured woman at the lifeboat station.  The woman had injured her back and was conveyed to Withybush Hospital by ambulance.

 

D543 'Dewi Sant/St David' Replaced - 4th June 2003

D447 being launched

The D class inshore lifeboat 'Dewi Sant/St David' has left the station temporarily for it's annual refit at the ILB base at Cowes, IoW.  The relief lifeboat D447 'Thomas Campbell' has been allocated to the station in her place.  Above, the ILBs are swapped over at Porthclais harbour (Photo: Robin Copley).

 

Helicopter Exercise - 24th May 2003

St Davids ALB 'Garside' with Helo 169

St Davids lifeboats 'Garside' and 'Dewi Sant/St David' joined the offshore and inshore lifeboats from Fishguard station for a joint exercise with the RAF rescue helicopter 'Helo 169' from Chivenor in Devon.  In all 5 crew members were winched from the St Davids boats and RNLI training assessments made.  (Photo: Robin Copley)

 

8th January 2003 - Darts Match

Malcolm Gray and Paul Butler

Frankie George and Malcolm Gray

The annual Fishguard RNLI -v- St Davids RNLI darts match took place at the Atramont Arms, Croesgoch on 18th January 2003.  The team from St Davids arrived early and were able to get in a bit of practice before the arrival of the Fishguard team whose minibus had suffered mechanical problems outside several pubs en-route!

The first match was 1001 for all team members.  For the third year in succession St Davids proved to be too strong.  With their confidence high, the St Davids team were able to give the Fishguard crew a 5 match start in the individual matches.  By the end of the evening it was all square with Fishguard ex-Coxswain Frankie George MBE up against the St Davids Coxswain Malcolm Gray.  In a close match it was Malcolm who came out on top - the Atramont Cup returning to St Davids after a year's absence.

The St Davids crew would like to thank the Atramont Arms for their hospitality and the crew members from Fishguard who made the evening so enjoyable.

PS - No doubt Fishguard RNLI would have their own version of the above events!!!!!

 

December 2003

St Davids Lifeboat features in the rescues section of the RNLI Winter 2002/3 edition of 'The Lifeboat'.  The article recalls the rescue of the 3 surfers from Newgale in March 2002.

 

23 November 2002  -  Lifeboat Dinner

The Annual Lifeboat dinner was held at the Old Cross Hotel, St Davids on the 23 November 2002.  After the dinner, presentations were made to Jeffrey Thompson, Neil Thomas and Michael Phillips.

Jeffrey Davies (Hon Sec) and Jeffrey Thompson (right)

Deputy 2nd Coxswain Jeffrey Thompson retired after 27 years service to the St Davids Lifeboat station.  He was presented with his RNLI Certificate of Service and a barometer from the crew.  Flowers were also presented to his wife and mother.

Michael Phillips, Jeffrey Davies, Neil Thomas

Michael Phillips and Neil Thomas were presented with their RNLI Certificates for their involvement in the rescue of 3 surfers from Newgale beach in March 2002 - see services section for more information.

 

2nd October 2002

Crew members will be attending RNLI courses for VHF and MF radio operation in the mobile training unit from Poole HQ during October.  The course instructor is Steve Howard.

 

1st October 2002

The relief lifeboat 'RNLB Owen and Anne Aisher (47-017) was on station from 8th September until 1st October whilst the station boat 'Garside' (47-026) was in the boatyard at Appledore for repairs.

 

20th July 2002

ILB crew members Michael Phillips and Neil Thomas are to receive RNLI 'Letters of Thanks' for the rescue of surfers at Newgale on 21st March 2002.  Please see the Services section for more details.

 

17th May 2002

Crew members Jestyn Martin, Paul Taylor, Ian Gray and Matthew Cox have attended the RNLI's sea survival course at Fleetwood Nautical College.

 

4th May 2002

Deputy 2nd Coxswain Jeffrey Thompson has retired from the crew following over 20 years service.  Jeffrey was presented with an RNLI Letter of Thanks in 1985 for his part in the rescue of the MFV Miss Ali Jane and a Vellum Service Certificate in 2000 for the 'Blackfriars' rescue.

 

17th April 2002

The RNLI's mobile training unit visited the station to provide training to crew members in the use of electronic navigation equipment (RADAR, GPS and Laserplot).   Instructor Steve Clark held daytime and evening courses over a two week period with 10 crew members attending.

 

1st April 2002

Members of the lifeboat crew were involved in an incident in which 2 injured people were landed at the lifeboat station slipway by the passenger vessel 'Ocean Raven'.  Although the lifeboat was not launched, crew members assisted the St Davids Coastguard, the local Doctor and paramedics in transferring one woman with suspected back injuries and a second woman with a head injury after the boat had encountered a large wave to the South West of Ramsey Island.

 

19th March 2002

D543 'Dewi Sant / St David' has returned to her station at St Davids following her annual refit.

 

12 January 2002

St Davids lifeboat appears twice in the Winter 2001/02 Lifeboat Journal.  An article and picture about the rescue of the 'Wasini' appears on page 23 (13th June 2001) and a picture from a medical exercise held on Ramsey Island appears on page 4.

 

19th October 2001

Reported in the local newspaper 'The County Echo':

St Davids lifeboatman Paul Taylor has received a letter of thanks from the RNLI for his part in the rescue of the occupant of the yacht "Curachan" which sank after hitting a submerged object near St Davids Head.

 

6th September 2001

RNLI officials recently visited St Davids Lifeboat station to carry out the five-yearly coastal review.  Coxswain Malcolm Gray and his crew, along with members of the branch committee and ladies guild had assembled to greet the visitors.

The meeting discussed the building of a new boathouse to house one of the next generation of slipway lifeboats (the FSB2) which will be allocated to replace the Tyne class lifeboat 'RNLB Garside'.  The delegation said how impressed they were by the overall condition of the 'Garside' and boathouse which reflected much credit on the Mechanic and his assistants, and wished them all the very best in the future.

 

26th August 2001

St Davids lifeboat station held a well attended open day with visitors able to look over both the all weather and inshore lifeboats.  Crew members and station personnel were available to discuss the work of the RNLI in St Davids, the history of the station and the qualities of the boats.

Both of the lifeboats launched at the end of the day and performed a practical demonstration of the boats for the crowd that had gathered to see the launch.

 

19th August 2001

St Davids ILB attended the Porthclais Harbour Childrens Aquatic Sports where the crew were greeted by a large crowd.

 

8th August 2001

David Lewis (Dai the Mill), a former coxswain of St Davids lifeboat died at the age of 97 on Wednesday 8th August.  Dai joined the crew in 1936 and during his 33 years service he was involved in many epic rescues including those of the two capsized landing craft in 1942 and the tanker 'World Concorde' in 1954.

David Lewis was appointed coxswain in 1956 and served in this role until his retirement in 1969.  He was awarded an RNLI Bronze medal for the rescue of the crew of the French trawler 'Notre Dame de Fatima' during his first year in command. David Lewis was presented with 'Maundy Money' by Queen Elizabeth when she visited St Davids in 1982.

A well known character around St Davids, Dai proved an inspiration for many past and present crew members and will be a great loss to the local community.  An autobiography was published in 1992 and provides a very interesting read.

 

12th June 2001

Twelve members of the St Davids Lifeboat Ladies Guild joined the crew on exercise.  During the past year over 14,000 has been raised by the Guild for RNLI funds.

 

25th May 2001 - TV Programme

St Davids lifeboat featured briefly in the BBC Choice satellite television programme 'Rush'.  

 

12th May 2001 - TV Programme

Fund raising event organised with Welsh language television programme 'Twrio'.  The programme included footage of the lifeboats 'Garside' and 'Dewi Sant / Saint David' plus interviews with crew members past and present.

 

20th December 2000

Following an evening exercise the lifeboat crew held their Christmas party at the Farmers Arms, St Davids. A presentation was made to Mr Rex Lewis who recently retired as Head Launcher.

26th November 2000 - Press Release

Presentation Evening - Saturday 25th November 2000 - Whitesands Bay Hotel, St Davids

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For the service to the 1500 ton tanker 'Blackfriars' on Christmas Eve 1999 the executive committee of the RNLI have awarded the following: the Tanks of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution inscribed on vellum to Coxswain Malcolm Gray (50). The remainder of the crew are awarded Vellum Service Certificates: Second Coxswain Clive Hayes (46), Deputy 2nd Coxswain Jeffrey Thompson (52), Mechanic Michael Phillips (21), Emergency Mechanic Paul Taylor (24), crew members Robin Copley (35), Cindy Pearce (37).

Coxswain Gray launched the Tyne class all-weather lifeboat 'Garside' at 0026 on 24th December 1999 to go to the assistance of the tanker which had parted it's anchor cable and was aground on Musselwick Sands. The lifeboat stood by for two hours until it became apparent that unless the tanker was towed clear at high tide she would be swept further up the beach and stranded. There were also four people left onboard. Coxswain Gray and his crew managed to connect a towline despite very shallow water and gradually towed the tanker off the beach and into deeper water. The lifeboat held the tow for several hours until a tug arrived.

Following reading of the citations by Divisional Inspector (West) Mr Andy Clift the Coxswain and crew were presented their awards by the Chairman of Pembrokeshire County Council Mr Bill Hitchins.

20th November 2000 - Press Release

St Davids lifeboat head launcher Rex Lewis has been forced to retire on reaching the age of 65. Rex commenced his service with the RNLI on the 1st April 1976 when he became Head Launcher following the retirement of the late Mr Dewi Rowlands.

Rex who was a teacher at Ysgol Dewi Sant in St Davids until his retirement has been responsible for encouraging many of his former pupils to join the crew and they are all grateful for his help and guidance over the years, none more than the present full time Mechanic Michael Phillips who said "I would personally like to thank Rex for all the help and assistance he has given me". The Coxswain, crew, launchers and station officials wish Rex best wishes and good health in his retirement.

A presentation will be made to Rex at a later date. Rex will be succeeded as Head Launcher by David Griffiths.

18th August 2000 - Press Release

A large crowd gathered at St Justinians on Wednesday evening to watch the station's annual medical exercise. The all weather and inshore lifeboats under the command of Coxswain Malcolm Gray and Helmsman Robin Copley gave a superb demonstration of rescue techniques. This year the lifeboats were joined by the South Wales Sea Fisheries vessel 'Cranogwen' in it's demonstration of fisheries protection and safety, also Dyfed Powys Police launch 'Delta 66' and it's work in crime prevention at sea. The medex was organised by station personnel and Dr Chris Wooldridge from University of Wales Cardiff. The RNLI would like to thank Dr Wooldridge, South Wales Sea Fisheries, Dyfed Powys Police, Mr Eric O'Brien and Mr Alan Richardson for all their help and participation in this exercise.

17th July 2000 - Press Release

The RNLI's Director Mr Andrew Freemantle MBE visited St Davids lifeboat station on Monday 17th July. There to greet him was Branch President Dr George Middleton, station officials, Coxswain Malcolm Gray and crew, also members of the ladies guild. This was the first visit to St Davids station by the director since his appointment in January 1999 following the retirement of the then Director Mr Brian Miles.