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-An Open Day is usually held
-at Porthdinllaen lifeboat station...
-..on the Bank Holiday
-in late August.
-The weather is fine
-and the lifeboat is out on the slip.
-It's one way of raising money...
-..to keep the boathouse going.
-Some money also goes
-towards helping the crew.
-The more, the better!
-Open Days raise
-a great deal of money.
-It's nothing compared
-to the bequests the RNLI receives.
-are used to buy the boats.
-Money from fund-raising events
-helps maintain the boats.
-It's not enough to buy the boats
-but it keeps them going.
-Welcome to the lifeboat station.
-Thank you for coming...
-..and for bringing the fine weather
-We hope you'll enjoy yourselves.
-When you depart, please leave
-nothing behind but your footprints.
-Children enjoy seeing a lifeboat.
-The boat is usually kept
-inside the boathouse.
-They get a chance to see her
-on Open Days.
-Watching the lifeboat enter
-the water is even more exciting.
-The crew have decided to hold
-a training exercise today.
-They need the practice - they're
-getting fewer calls these days.
-People have better boats
-and they have better instruments.
-The old rubbish has gone!
-We rescue a lot of divers.
-But there's a new lifeboat station
-in Trearddur Bay...
-..so they now get many of the calls
-we used to deal with.
-How important is the
-Porthdinllaen lifeboat these days?
-It's the biggest boat in the area.
-They keep it going
-because of the Irish ferries.
-They need a big, fast boat...
-..in case of an emergency
-on one of the ferries.
-They must have regular training
-exercises, on sea and on land.
-Many of the boys have done
-radar courses, radio courses...
-..many have been to
-the survival college in Fleetwood.
-A lot of us learn from each other.
-Some learn more quickly than others
-and they teach each other.
-Everyone knows a little
-can cover for each other.
-There are rumours that Porthdinllaen
-may get a new boat before long.
-It'll probably happen
-in ten years' time.
-will need to be adapted.
-She could be moored but we'll
-probably need a new boathouse...
-..and a new slipway,
-which will cost a lot.
-For now, the 'Hetty Rampton'
-is suited to her purpose.
-The Nefyn yacht race
-takes place during the Open Day.
-Many of the lifeboat's calls
-Most of these calls
-occur in the summer.
-Members of sailing clubs
-are usually more competent...
-..and less likely
-to get into difficulties.
-There's a crowd here now.
-The biggest danger
-is that the food will run out!
-No, not part of the catering...
-..but prizes to be picked up
-before heading back to Nefyn!
-The competition is getting fierce.
-The 'Hetty Rampton'
-nearly got an unexpected call!
-One or two nearly had to walk -
-or swim - home!
-But there were no real problems
-The crew return to shore and the
-flags are put away for another year.
-I'm the oldest crew member.
-I've been here since
-the new boat arrived 12 years ago.
-My son is the youngest member.
-I've another two years to go
-before I get kicked out!
-I've been coming here
-since Dad started.
-I carried on coming
-and they let me join in the end!
-It's nice to have two members
-from the same family.
-I have another son
-and he'll probably join us soon.
-It's been a very busy weekend.
-We had a summer buffet
-at the Linksway Hotel last night.
-There were over 150 people there.
-I believe we raised nearly 2,000.
-This is our second, and most
-successful, Open Day this year.
-It has been a wonderful day.
-Winter in Porthdinllaen
-is not so wonderful.
-They get few calls in winter
-but they can be very unpleasant.
-Many calls have tested the crew's
-devotion and bravery to the limit.
-Former secretary Gwyn Jones
-recalls such experiences.
-I was born in Morfa Nefyn,
-close to the sea.
-My grandfather worked
-on the sailing ships in Porthmadog.
-and my uncle went to sea...
-..as did my brother. I didn't
-but I'm used to working with boats.
-I must have launched
-over 200 services.
-I was up all night
-and on into the following day...
-..during the tragedy of the 'Kimya'.
-The 'Kimya' had got into
-difficulties. She was listing.
-She sank in a hurricane.
-We were called out to a tanker
-She was carrying a cargo
-of sunflower oil to Liverpool.
-She was about eight miles from here.
-She was listing,
-because the oil had shifted...
-..or because water had got in.
-We rounded the headland.
-Peter was the coxswain.
-We could see the red flares
-from the tanker.
-She must have capsized then.
-She had capsized
-by the time we got to her.
-We pulled four bodies
-from the water.
-We searched for 12 hours
-but we never found the others.
-We lost one of the crew
-when his life-jacket slipped...
-..and he fell into the sea.
-It was terribly sad.
-We picked up another three...
-..and then we picked up one more
-when we were on our way back.
-They were all dead -
-they had drowned.
-As dawn broke, there were fears
-for the lifeboat crew's safety.
-The storm had abated
-but no-one knew what was happening.
-Some worried people had gathered
-to welcome the 'Hetty Rampton' home.
-News of the tragedy spread as four
-bodies left the lifeboat station.
-It was pitch dark. You couldn't see
-where you were going.
-The boat was battered by waves.
-We strapped ourselves in
-because we were being thrown around.
-I was bruised black and blue
-the following day.
-I didn't notice it at the time
-but I was bruised all over.
-Dylan was the youngest.
-It must have been on his mind a lot.
-But he doesn't show it.
-He's just as enthusiastic.
-We all felt the same.
-One of the worst tragedies
-in the RNLI's history...
-..was that of the Mumbles lifeboat
-The 8 crew members of the 'Edward
-Prince of Wales' were lost...
-..as they tried to rescue the crew
-of the 'Samtampa'.
-They were buried
-within sight of the boathouse.
-relate the sad event.
-A stained glass window in the local
-church commemorates the tragedy.
-The 'Samtampa' had unloaded
-at Middlesborough in April 1947.
-She was due to sail to Newcastle
-to pick up another cargo...
-..before setting out
-for South America.
-She left Middlesborough
-on April 19th.
-She had a very slow journey
-on the North Sea...
-..because of heavy fog, which lifted
-as they reached the Channel.
-But it became apparent
-that a storm was brewing.
-They rounded Land's End
-at about 10.00am on April 23rd.
-A force eight gale
-was already blowing.
-By late afternoon, coastguards
-had started receiving messages.
-The ship was being driven by the wind
-and she was dragging her anchors.
-At about 5.00pm Mumbles lifeboat
-station received the message...
-..that the 'Samtampa' was in trouble
-in the Bristol Channel.
-Gammon and his crew set out
-on the 'Edward Prince of Wales'.
-They spent over an hour and a half
-searching for the 'Samtampa'.
-They had no radio in those days,
-so they returned to Mumbles...
-..to see if there was further news.
-They didn't know that the 'Samtampa'
-was already wrecked.
-The 'Samtampa' was wrecked
-on the rocks at Sker.
-Porthcawl coastguards found her,
-broken into three by the storm.
-William Gammon and his crew
-set out again at about 7.00pm.
-No-one knows exactly what happened...
-..but the lifeboat
-failed to return to Mumbles.
-She was found
-not far from the 'Samtampa'.
-The 39 crew of the 'Samtampa'...
-..and the eight-man lifeboat crew
-all lost their lives.
-The boat was burned, as was the
-custom, out of respect for the crew.
-Many Swansea residents
-still remember the funerals.
-Communities all over Britain
-offered their sympathy.
-There should have been a crew of 40
-on the 'Samtampa'.
-Few people realise
-that one crew member survived.
-He was the donkeyman -
-the stokers' foreman.
-John Dinsmore had been out
-on a spree...
-..the night before the ship
-sailed from Middlesborough.
-He missed the boat. The 'Samtampa'
-sailed down the Tees without him.
-But imagine how he must have felt
-three days later...
-..when he heard the news of what
-had happened to his shipmates.
-have had their share of losses.
-Tragedy has also struck
-at St David's...
-..on two separate occasions.
-Today's visitors know little of
-the tales of outstanding bravery...
-the St David's lifeboat crew.
-Two members died in 1910 as they
-rescued the crew of the 'Democrat'.
-A local miller was a prominent
-crew member for many years.
-He served as second coxswain
-Dai Lewis was middle-aged in 1954...
-..when they were called out
-to the tanker 'World Concord'.
-He's now 96 years old but he still
-remembers that occasion.
-It took us four hours
-to reach our position.
-I noticed that when we drew up
-..her propellers were turning -
-not quickly, but they were turning.
-We had to stay clear of them.
-We got all the men off the ship.
-There were 35 of them.
-We got them off one by one.
-When we drew alongside her...
-..the lifeboat was being lifted
-25 feet by the waves.
-We got a hold on the ship's stern.
-We didn't see the bow -
-the two parts had drifted apart.
-The propellers were turning
-on the part we found.
-The Rosslare lifeboat rescued
-the sailors from the other half...
-..and took them back to shore.
-The St David's crew were, of course,
-Most of them were farmers.
-Dai Lewis enjoyed singing
-in the local pub.
-The worst we had was a call-out
-to a small French trawler...
-..the 'Notre Dame de Fatima'.
-We rescued eight men off her.
-That was beyond Skomer island.
-It was blowing a westerly gale
-at the time.
-We had a job
-getting all eight men off the boat.
-They rescued the men
-but the weather was so bad...
-..the lifeboat had to seek shelter
-at Milford Haven.
-But as they returned to St David's
-the following day...
-..a crew member was lost.
-The sea was very rough.
-The boat was completely submerged.
-We couldn't even hear
-the engine running...
-..because the exhaust
-was under water.
-The exhaust was a dummy funnel.
-One of the crew, Ieuan Bateman,
-was washed overboard.
-Not one of us
-saw or heard it happen.
-The crew returned to the station
-with the terrible news.
-Two of Ieuan Bateman's brothers,
-John and Byron...
-..were waiting on the shore.
-I was in school on the day
-the boat went out.
-When my father came back from work,
-the three of us came down here.
-There were others here,
-waiting to see what had happened.
-As the night wore on,
-we heard she was going to Milford.
-We went to Mr Griffiths' house...
-..and waited until we heard
-they were staying in Milford.
-We then walked home.
-We all went to bed.
-Then the police came to tell us
-that they'd lost him.
-I believe his life-jacket's
-..had lifted him out of the cockpit.
-Perhaps he lost his grip.
-We don't know.
-It was such a blow, losing him after
-we had rescued the trawler crew.
-One would have expected
-the Bateman brothers...
-..to turn their backs on the sea.
-immediately joined the crew.
-Our parents weren't too pleased
-..but I'd joined before I told them.
-It was then too late
-for them to stop me.
-John joined later.
-I was in school
-when I lost my brother.
-I couldn't wait
-until I was old enough to join.
-We were born and raised here,
-near the boathouse.
-We knew each time she went out
-because we heard the maroons.
-Local children would come down here.
-Older crew members would tell us...
-..never to close the door while
-the boat was out, never shut her out.
-Nia Melville, Elidir