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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

And another swept to sea tragedy in South Wales

The headline that says "We did all we could to save him" is clearly implying a tragic case given in this article just reported in thisissouthwales.
A BURRY Port rescue volunteer has told of his horror at the death of a
Fifteen-year-old Sam Capper, from Birkenhead in Merseyside, could not be saved despite the valiant efforts of his brother, Lewis Hunt, who jumped in after him.
Coastguard officers, several lifeboat crews and a Sea King helicopter from Chivenor all raced to the scene at Llangennith after the alarm was raised last Wednesday evening.
Lifeboat crews rescued Lewis, 21, but it was too late for Sam.
"Under the circumstances and the sea conditions we did exceptionally well to save him," said Burry Port RNLI helmsman Owain Davies.
"In previous instances when we have had more than one person in the water we have been picking two bodies up.
"We are pleased we managed to recover the older brother, but we are sad that we couldn't get the younger one in time.
"It's a tragic story from our perspective with the RNLI, but we responded as quickly as we could.
"We did avert a second drowning — if we hadn't been there within five minutes we could have had a second fatality."
But he admitted the two Burry Port crews which went to the rescue had been devastated by last week's tragedy.
The boys had been fishing on rocks near Blue Pool corner, east of Burry Holms on North Gower, when Sam was swept into the water. His older brother leapt into the sea to try to rescue him, but to no avail.
Mr Davies said people on the shore directed crews to the 21-year-old.
"We proceeded with haste — when we get reports of a person in the water we pull out all the stops," said Mr Davies.
"The onlookers on the cliffs had sight of people in the water and they guided the lifeboat onto the older brother.
"He was conscious and alert and in severe shock and starting to show signs of hypothermia.
"We started giving him treatment while the other boat was searching for his younger brother."
Apart from the Burry Port lifeboats, Rhossili Coastguard, the Loughor independent rescue boat and the Tenby RNLI all-weather lifeboat were all involved.
"Within three or four minutes of being on the scene the RAF helicopter arrived and started to search from the tip of Burry Holms," said Mr Davies. "Within five to six minutes of being on scene they saw the younger brother and immediately put the winchman down to recover him from the water."
Mr Davies warned of the dangers posed by "freak" waves.
He said: "To make people fully aware — you might think the sea is calm, but every 20 minutes or so you get a freak wave which is higher and I believe that's what caught him out.
"He was sitting on the rocks thinking he was comfortable, waves lapping round his feet and the wave came in and swept him off.
"Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have had this nature of call.
"We need to make the general public aware that they need to keep their wits about them when fishing off the rocks.
"They need to keep above the wave line. We would always recommend anybody working or fishing or doing anything close to the sea they should always wear a lifejacket."
Sam's family have said their only consolation is that his brother was there with him in his final moments.
"Lewis was with him, holding on to him tightly," said the pair's mum Leah Hunt.
Lifeboat spokesman Hugh Owen said: "We did our best but unfortunately your best is not always good enough, though not for a lack of trying.
"Everything that could possibly have been done, was done.
"Everybody pulled out all the stops but sadly it was not to be.
"In some circumstances there is nothing that can be done."
This last sentence is an especially sad comment to bear.  This article, written by Llanelli Star, had pretty  much given all the details of this sad case.  It all started with this fifteen year old young Sam being "swept off rocks by a "freak" wave on Gower while on holiday."  Again, not a unfamiliar plot that had happened times and again.  The teenage boy's older brother immediately leapt into the ocean to try to save him.  All the rescue efforts immediately set in motion.  They were successfully rescued the older brother but failed to get the younger brother, even the rescuing helecopter was not able to because of the waves.  Here again, the victim did not wearing a lifejacket, things will be different if he did.  One can not emphasize more strongly to listen to Mr. Davis' advise: " . . . anybody working or fishing or doing anything close to the sea they should always wear a lifejacket." Otherwise we can only sadly hearing Mr. Owen say: "We did our best but unfortunately your best is not always good enough, though not for a lack of trying. Everything that could possibly have been done, was done. Everybody pulled out all the stops but sadly it was not to be."  Sadly indeed.  Our condolences go to the family and may Sam be rest in peace!

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