Episode 4 of 6 Dilyn y Don


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Episode 4 of 6

Mae Gorsaf Porthdinllaen yn cynnal diwrnod agored a chlywn am hen drychinebau yn y Mwmbwls a Thyddewi. Porthdinllaen lifeboat station holds an open day and we hear about past tr...


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-An Open Day is usually held

-at Porthdinllaen lifeboat station...

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-..on the Bank Holiday

-in late August.

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-The weather is fine

-and the lifeboat is out on the slip.

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-It's one way of raising money...

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-..to keep the boathouse going.

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-Some money also goes

-towards helping the crew.

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-The more, the better!

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-Open Days raise

-a great deal of money.

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-It's nothing compared

-to the bequests the RNLI receives.

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-The bequests

-are used to buy the boats.

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-Money from fund-raising events

-helps maintain the boats.

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-It's not enough to buy the boats

-but it keeps them going.

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-Welcome to the lifeboat station.

-Thank you for coming...

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-..and for bringing the fine weather

-with you!

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-We hope you'll enjoy yourselves.

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-When you depart, please leave

-nothing behind but your footprints.

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-Children enjoy seeing a lifeboat.

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-The boat is usually kept

-inside the boathouse.

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-They get a chance to see her

-on Open Days.

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-Watching the lifeboat enter

-the water is even more exciting.

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-The crew have decided to hold

-a training exercise today.

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-They need the practice - they're

-getting fewer calls these days.

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-People have better boats

-and they have better instruments.

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-The old rubbish has gone!

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-We rescue a lot of divers.

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-But there's a new lifeboat station

-in Trearddur Bay...

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-..so they now get many of the calls

-we used to deal with.

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-How important is the

-Porthdinllaen lifeboat these days?

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-It's the biggest boat in the area.

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-They keep it going

-because of the Irish ferries.

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-They need a big, fast boat...

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-..in case of an emergency

-on one of the ferries.

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-They must have regular training

-exercises, on sea and on land.

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-Many of the boys have done

-radar courses, radio courses...

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-..many have been to

-the survival college in Fleetwood.

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-A lot of us learn from each other.

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-Some learn more quickly than others

-and they teach each other.

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-Everyone knows a little

-about everything.

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-Crew members

-can cover for each other.

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-There are rumours that Porthdinllaen

-may get a new boat before long.

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-It'll probably happen

-in ten years' time.

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-The boathouse

-will need to be adapted.

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-She could be moored but we'll

-probably need a new boathouse...

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-..and a new slipway,

-which will cost a lot.

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-For now, the 'Hetty Rampton'

-is suited to her purpose.

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-The Nefyn yacht race

-takes place during the Open Day.

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-Many of the lifeboat's calls

-involve yachts.

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-Most of these calls

-occur in the summer.

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-Members of sailing clubs

-are usually more competent...

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-..and less likely

-to get into difficulties.

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-There's a crowd here now.

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-The biggest danger

-is that the food will run out!

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-No, not part of the catering...

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-..but prizes to be picked up

-before heading back to Nefyn!

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-The competition is getting fierce.

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-The 'Hetty Rampton'

-nearly got an unexpected call!

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-One or two nearly had to walk -

-or swim - home!

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-But there were no real problems

-today.

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-The crew return to shore and the

-flags are put away for another year.

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-I'm the oldest crew member.

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-I've been here since

-the new boat arrived 12 years ago.

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-My son is the youngest member.

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-I've another two years to go

-before I get kicked out!

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-I've been coming here

-since Dad started.

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-I carried on coming

-and they let me join in the end!

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-It's nice to have two members

-from the same family.

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-I have another son

-and he'll probably join us soon.

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-It's been a very busy weekend.

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-We had a summer buffet

-at the Linksway Hotel last night.

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-There were over 150 people there.

-I believe we raised nearly 2,000.

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-This is our second, and most

-successful, Open Day this year.

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-It has been a wonderful day.

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-Winter in Porthdinllaen

-is not so wonderful.

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-They get few calls in winter

-but they can be very unpleasant.

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-Many calls have tested the crew's

-devotion and bravery to the limit.

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-Former secretary Gwyn Jones

-recalls such experiences.

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-I was born in Morfa Nefyn,

-close to the sea.

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-My grandfather worked

-on the sailing ships in Porthmadog.

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-My father

-and my uncle went to sea...

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-..as did my brother. I didn't

-but I'm used to working with boats.

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-I must have launched

-over 200 services.

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-I was up all night

-and on into the following day...

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-..during the tragedy of the 'Kimya'.

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-The 'Kimya' had got into

-difficulties. She was listing.

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-She sank in a hurricane.

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-We were called out to a tanker

-at 2.30am.

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-She was carrying a cargo

-of sunflower oil to Liverpool.

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-She was about eight miles from here.

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-She was listing,

-because the oil had shifted...

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-..or because water had got in.

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-We rounded the headland.

-Peter was the coxswain.

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-We could see the red flares

-from the tanker.

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-She must have capsized then.

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-She had capsized

-by the time we got to her.

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-We pulled four bodies

-from the water.

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-We searched for 12 hours

-but we never found the others.

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-We lost one of the crew

-when his life-jacket slipped...

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-..and he fell into the sea.

-It was terribly sad.

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-We picked up another three...

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-..and then we picked up one more

-when we were on our way back.

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-They were all dead -

-they had drowned.

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-As dawn broke, there were fears

-for the lifeboat crew's safety.

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-The storm had abated

-but no-one knew what was happening.

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-Some worried people had gathered

-to welcome the 'Hetty Rampton' home.

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-News of the tragedy spread as four

-bodies left the lifeboat station.

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-It was pitch dark. You couldn't see

-where you were going.

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-The boat was battered by waves.

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-We strapped ourselves in

-because we were being thrown around.

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-I was bruised black and blue

-the following day.

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-I didn't notice it at the time

-but I was bruised all over.

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-Dylan was the youngest.

-It must have been on his mind a lot.

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-But he doesn't show it.

-He's just as enthusiastic.

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-We all felt the same.

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-One of the worst tragedies

-in the RNLI's history...

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-..was that of the Mumbles lifeboat

-in 1947.

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-The 8 crew members of the 'Edward

-Prince of Wales' were lost...

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-..as they tried to rescue the crew

-of the 'Samtampa'.

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-They were buried

-within sight of the boathouse.

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-Their gravestones

-relate the sad event.

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-A stained glass window in the local

-church commemorates the tragedy.

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-The 'Samtampa' had unloaded

-at Middlesborough in April 1947.

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-She was due to sail to Newcastle

-to pick up another cargo...

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-..before setting out

-for South America.

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-She left Middlesborough

-on April 19th.

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-She had a very slow journey

-on the North Sea...

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-..because of heavy fog, which lifted

-as they reached the Channel.

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-But it became apparent

-that a storm was brewing.

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-They rounded Land's End

-at about 10.00am on April 23rd.

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-A force eight gale

-was already blowing.

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-By late afternoon, coastguards

-had started receiving messages.

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-The ship was being driven by the wind

-and she was dragging her anchors.

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-At about 5.00pm Mumbles lifeboat

-station received the message...

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-..that the 'Samtampa' was in trouble

-in the Bristol Channel.

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-Gammon and his crew set out

-on the 'Edward Prince of Wales'.

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-They spent over an hour and a half

-searching for the 'Samtampa'.

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-They had no radio in those days,

-so they returned to Mumbles...

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-..to see if there was further news.

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-They didn't know that the 'Samtampa'

-was already wrecked.

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-The 'Samtampa' was wrecked

-on the rocks at Sker.

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-Porthcawl coastguards found her,

-broken into three by the storm.

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-William Gammon and his crew

-set out again at about 7.00pm.

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-No-one knows exactly what happened...

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-..but the lifeboat

-failed to return to Mumbles.

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-She was found

-not far from the 'Samtampa'.

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-The 39 crew of the 'Samtampa'...

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-..and the eight-man lifeboat crew

-all lost their lives.

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-The boat was burned, as was the

-custom, out of respect for the crew.

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-Many Swansea residents

-still remember the funerals.

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-Communities all over Britain

-offered their sympathy.

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-There should have been a crew of 40

-on the 'Samtampa'.

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-Few people realise

-that one crew member survived.

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-He was the donkeyman -

-the stokers' foreman.

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-John Dinsmore had been out

-on a spree...

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-..the night before the ship

-sailed from Middlesborough.

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-He missed the boat. The 'Samtampa'

-sailed down the Tees without him.

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-But imagine how he must have felt

-three days later...

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-..when he heard the news of what

-had happened to his shipmates.

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-Other lifeboats

-have had their share of losses.

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-Tragedy has also struck

-at St David's...

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-..on two separate occasions.

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-Today's visitors know little of

-the tales of outstanding bravery...

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-..concerning

-the St David's lifeboat crew.

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-Two members died in 1910 as they

-rescued the crew of the 'Democrat'.

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-A local miller was a prominent

-crew member for many years.

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-He served as second coxswain

-and coxswain.

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-Dai Lewis was middle-aged in 1954...

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-..when they were called out

-to the tanker 'World Concord'.

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-He's now 96 years old but he still

-remembers that occasion.

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-It took us four hours

-to reach our position.

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-I noticed that when we drew up

-alongside her...

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-..her propellers were turning -

-not quickly, but they were turning.

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-We had to stay clear of them.

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-We got all the men off the ship.

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-There were 35 of them.

-We got them off one by one.

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-When we drew alongside her...

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-..the lifeboat was being lifted

-25 feet by the waves.

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-We got a hold on the ship's stern.

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-We didn't see the bow -

-the two parts had drifted apart.

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-The propellers were turning

-on the part we found.

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-The Rosslare lifeboat rescued

-the sailors from the other half...

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-..and took them back to shore.

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-The St David's crew were, of course,

-volunteers.

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-Most of them were farmers.

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-Dai Lewis enjoyed singing

-in the local pub.

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-The worst we had was a call-out

-to a small French trawler...

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-..the 'Notre Dame de Fatima'.

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-We rescued eight men off her.

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-That was beyond Skomer island.

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-It was blowing a westerly gale

-at the time.

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-We had a job

-getting all eight men off the boat.

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-They rescued the men

-but the weather was so bad...

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-..the lifeboat had to seek shelter

-at Milford Haven.

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-But as they returned to St David's

-the following day...

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-..a crew member was lost.

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-The sea was very rough.

-The boat was completely submerged.

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-We couldn't even hear

-the engine running...

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-..because the exhaust

-was under water.

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-The exhaust was a dummy funnel.

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-One of the crew, Ieuan Bateman,

-was washed overboard.

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-Not one of us

-saw or heard it happen.

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-The crew returned to the station

-with the terrible news.

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-Two of Ieuan Bateman's brothers,

-John and Byron...

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-..were waiting on the shore.

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-I was in school on the day

-the boat went out.

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-When my father came back from work,

-the three of us came down here.

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-There were others here,

-waiting to see what had happened.

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-As the night wore on,

-we heard she was going to Milford.

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-We went to Mr Griffiths' house...

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-..and waited until we heard

-they were staying in Milford.

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-We then walked home.

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-We all went to bed.

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-Then the police came to tell us

-that they'd lost him.

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-I believe his life-jacket's

-buoyancy...

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-..had lifted him out of the cockpit.

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-Perhaps he lost his grip.

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-We don't know.

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-It was such a blow, losing him after

-we had rescued the trawler crew.

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-One would have expected

-the Bateman brothers...

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-..to turn their backs on the sea.

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-But Byron

-immediately joined the crew.

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-Our parents weren't too pleased

-at first...

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-..but I'd joined before I told them.

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-It was then too late

-for them to stop me.

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-John joined later.

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-I was in school

-when I lost my brother.

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-I couldn't wait

-until I was old enough to join.

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-We were born and raised here,

-near the boathouse.

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-We knew each time she went out

-because we heard the maroons.

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-Local children would come down here.

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-Older crew members would tell us...

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-..never to close the door while

-the boat was out, never shut her out.

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-Subtitles

-by

-Nia Melville, Elidir

0:24:230:24:26

Mae Gorsaf Porthdinllaen yn cynnal diwrnod agored a chlywn am hen drychinebau yn y Mwmbwls a Thyddewi. Porthdinllaen lifeboat station holds an open day and we hear about past tragedies.