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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Hi everyone! Just to let all our followers know that the Coracle Theatre Project will be holding a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream in Ferryside on April 15th in aid of Ferryside Lifeboat. Performance will start at 2pm on the Foreshore and will be free to attend (with suggested donations to the lifeboat of £2 per person).

Mike Hackfort

Shakespeare on the foreshore
Shakespeare on the foreshore

Ferryside Lifeboat Old and New

Here are a few shots of the New Ferryside Lifeboat ‘The Freemason’ next to the old Lifeboat ‘Blundell’ after a recent training session. Although the only difference in size is an extra 60cm length on The Freemason she looks like a much bigger boat.

We are in the process of finalising a few fundraising events for the Summer so please keep coming back and checking up with what’s happening this year. We hope to see you at a few events.

Also a brief reminder to everybody. Please check our weather and tide times links before you plan on going out and about around Carmarthen Bay. We have unfortunately had our first call out this year as a search and rescue to find stranded walkers cut off by the tide.

Ferryside Lifeboat
The two boats with a sunset


Ferryside Lifeboat
The Freemason and Blundell side by side


Ferryside Lifeboat
From behind with the boathouse in view


Ferryside Lifeboat
Not the prettiest crew!


March Update

We’re pleased to announce that 2012 has proved to be a quiet year so far. The Ferryside Lifeboat has not been called out on an emergency rescue yet but we’re conscious that as the weather improves, more and more people will be out on the water. As we look towards April we know that the chances of the lifeboat being called out increase dramatically. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that we have the weather and tide tables up on the website under our ‘useful links’ page so please use this if you’re out and about in the area. The tide can be notoriously quick coming in and out over the deceptive sands of the Carmarthen Bar. Please be safe and take every precaution before going out on or near the water.

We would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to the landlord and regulars of the Fountain in Meidrim who raised a substantial £195.11 from a Bingo night on February 17th. It was great coming out to meet you and we had a fantastic night. Hope to see you all again soon.

As a reminder to anybody who is interested in the work of the Ferryside Lifeboat, we conduct training sessions on Wednesday evenings and over the weekend. If anybody is interested in volunteering then come down to the lifeboat station or call the duty coxswain on the mobile number provided.


Fundraising night in Meidrim 17th February

We are very pleased to announce that there will be a fundraising Bingo night in the Fountain pub in Meidrim, near St. Clears, on Friday 17th February. Some of the crew will be there trying to win the jackpot and we hope to see you there.

Not many people may realise that the Ferryside Lifeboat covers more a large operational area including the three rivers: The Towy – up to Carmarthen and beyond, the Gwendraith – up to Kidwelly Quay, and the Taf – up to St. Clears. In addition to this we may also be called to assist anywhere in Carmarthen Bay from Worm’s Head to Tenby or beyond.

We are very grateful to the people of Meidrim for putting on this fundraising night for us and it’s always good to meet up with people in areas we don’t get to visit much.


Night Training

Some photos of night time training on the 25th January. Testing the new navigation systems in rough sea, high winds and no light. Photos courtesy of Mr. Blurrycam. Sadly these were the best shots we could get in the weather.


February Update

Once again the crew of Ferryside Lifeboat would like to thank all those who turned out on New Years Day for the now annual FLABB dip. This year saw an increase in the number of participants, which was fantastic to see from our point of view. If you fancy a go then please come along and join in, it is a free event to enter and I can personally vouch for the dips qualities as a hangover cure! Fancy dress and mankini’s optional!

Andy and his Mankini
Andy and his Mankini

At this time of year the crew turns its attention to planning the years fundraising and this year we have a bumper crop of fun events lined up. These events take an awful lot of time and effort to arrange and this year we would love to hear from anybody who has a few hours to spare to help us raise funds. There would be no formal commitment, only an hour or two here and there to help man stalls, shake tins and sell raffle tickets; Particularly in the summer months where we have multiple commitments, leaving the crew thin on the ground at times. If you can help then we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail [email protected]

Mike Hackfort with Dave Smith
Mike Hackfort with the recently retired Dave Smith

We are also looking for sponsors for our four main fundraisers, Glastonferry, The Big Swim, The Garden Crawl, and The Annual Autumn Show. We would be particularly interested in hearing from anyone (individuals or companies) who might be able to help financially with Glastonferry and The Big Swim. It will be our fourth year of running Glastonferry and the event keeps getting bigger and bigger. The Big Swim Swim has also become a big summer attraction within the local community.  Any sponsorship will of course therefore result in some very good advertising and a much-increased local presence (if that is what you wish).

Again, if you can help then please e-mail.

It costs upwards of £12-14,000 per year to keep the lifeboat operating in Ferryside and so any and all contributions are always very welcome. We can guarantee that every single penny raised through our fundraising goes directly to help keep the lifeboat afloat.

Once again, thanks to the community for all your help and please keep looking out for updates and more lifeboat news.

Anthony Rees

Mike Hackfort wearing his favourite hat
Mike Hackfort wearing his favourite hat

Big Swim 2012

After the success of the 2011 Big Swim we will be hosting our annual Big Swim again in 2012. The swim, on 11 August 2012, is a 2km event from Ferryside to Llanstephan and back, across the Tywi Estuary.

Big Swim 2011
Big Swim 2011

This year we have raised the number of swimmers to 100. We would be delighted to hear from anyone who wishes to join us. We do however request that swimmers be over the age of 16.

Big Swim 2011
The 2011 swimmers

On the day there will also be various beach activities for the public including a BBQ, live music and a raffle — all under the stunning backdrop of Llanstephan Castle.

Big Swim course
Big Swim course

The Big Swim starts at 1pm from the foreshore at Ferryside. For an application and info pack, or if you would like to make a donation to Ferryside lifeboat, please contact James on 07929 037938 or email us.

For more news on open water swimming you can visit www.h2openmagazine.com


2011 Round Up

2011 has proven to be a year of great significance for the lifeboat, with a number of significant changes to both equipment and personnel, and a renewal of our relationship with both St John and the wider community.

The most obvious change is the new lifeboat, “The Freemason,” and we can now announce that she has officially gone on-station and is active with HM CG. Plans for 2012 and beyond include a replacement “mud boat” for use at low water, a renewal of crew Personal Protective Equipment, and the launch of a campaign to raise funding for a rescue hovercraft in Ferryside. So watch this space…

However, perhaps the most significant changes are the ones seen amongst the crew, as it is the crew that is the heart and soul of the lifeboat.

Coxswain Dave Smith has decided to retire and, after many years continued service, has decided to spend more of his time with his wife Doreen. Dave, the entire crew wish you and Doreen all the very best for the future, and it is our sincerest hope that we will continue to see you down at the boat station. Our door will forever remain open to you.

We have seen many new and returning crew, and thanks to crew members Rob Harley, Mark Kessel, Ben Morris, Jason Duxbury, Adrian Batte, and Alan Brinkworth we now have greater strength in depth than we have had for a long time.

At our recent crew Christmas party, new crew Richard Jones and Simon Lamble were both promoted to full crew from trainee status. Together they both have made huge contributions to the running of the boat and have proved themselves more than up to the job in a rescue scenario. Additionally, we are pleased to announce that “Iowa” Mike Hackfort has accepted a promotion to Senior Crew. As well as continuing to be our Secretary, Iowa will now take his advanced powerboat course and begin to run crew-training sessions.

Finally, we can announce that Senior Crew James Littlejohns has accepted promotion to Coxswain. Jim is an advanced powerboat user, with a history of teaching powerboat skills to people in the Swansea area. Since joining our number, Jim has continued improve his skill levels and knowledge and, through innumerable hours training, has acquired an intricate knowledge of the lifeboat and the waters on which she serves. Alongside Coxswains Tony Bean, Andy Morgan, and Anthony Rees, Jim will now assume full command in rescue situations as a Launch Authority for Ferryside Lifeboat.

The crew of Ferryside Lifeboat would like to thank all our supporters for their help and assistance during 2011. You are too numerous to mention you all by name, however rest assured that your assistance is greatly appreciated and continues to help keep the lifeboat tradition in Ferryside. Furthermore, we would like to wish everyone the very best for the coming new year.

Anthony Rees.

New Year’s Day Dip 2012

It’s almost that time of year again. We will be doing the New Year’s Day dip again on January 1st 2012. Andy Morgan may or may not be in a mankini. If somebody donates £100 via PayPal between now and New Year’s Day we promise that we’ll burn it!

December News

Christmas is nearly upon us but we’ve had an early Christmas present from Raymarine. Jolyon from Raymarine came down to fit the new e7 navigation units onto the new lifeboat. We’re now going through final testing of the new systems having had the opportunity to really put them them through their paces and are hopeful of having the new boat ready for active service very soon.

We would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you’re in or near the village on New Year’s Day then we would welcome you to come along to our traditional New Year’s Day dip. We promise Andy won’t be wearing a mankini this time around!

Open invitation to see the new lifeboat

The crew will be making themselves available on Saturday 29th October between 1-3.30pm at the lifeboat station to show the public around the new lifeboat. Whilst the new boat is not yet operational we will be pleased to show you around and provide an informal talk through the new equipment.

There will be a formal event arranged in future however at present we are keen to ensure that we have the new boat fully operational as soon as possible. Hope to see you there!

Ferryside Lifeboat
The new lifeboat