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Ceredigion Charity Mid Wales

Aberdyfi RNLI volunteers nominated for St Davids Award

TWO Aberdyfi RNLI volunteers attended last week’s St David’s Awards after being shortlisted for a Bravery Award for their part in a rescue off the Gwynedd coast last summer.

RNLI volunteers Arwel Jones and Alun Edwards were nominated along with their friends Joshua Brown, Oliver Brown, William Brown and Drew Nickless for their part in the rescue of seven people who were caught in rip currents during two separate incidents off the coast of Aberdyfi in July 2020.

The group were shortlisted for the Bravery award in the Welsh Government’s 2021 St Davids Award; an award to those who have demonstrated remarkable courageous behaviour or character, who have been prepared to do what is right in difficult situations.

On Sunday 26 July, Arwel was carrying his four-month-old son as he walked along the beach with his wife and family when they spotted two teenagers and a man in difficulty in the water. Arwel instinctively passed his baby son to his wife, grabbed a life ring and ran into the water to help. As he swam over to the group, Arwel shouted at them to lie on their backs, stay calm and float. He then started to swim the group one by one back to shore, spotted his friend (Drew) windsurfing nearby and waved for help.

Drew grabbed one of the swimmers from Arwel and started to resuscitate the casualty on the windboard. Arwel then swam back to assist the other two back to shore.

Back on shore, Arwel, Drew and Alun were treating the casualties when they spotted another family – a group of four – also in trouble in the water.

Alun grabbed the life ring from Arwel and ran in to help. The second group were all safely brought back to shore by Alun, Olly, Josh and Will.

After hearing of the nomination, Arwel Jones, Aberdyfi RNLI volunteer said: ‘We were all surprised but very honoured to hear we had been nominated for a St Davids Award. To find out we were finalists was incredible. We are extremely proud of the outcome that we achieved that day. Had we not been there at that moment, the day could have turned out very different.’

Stuart Wallace, RNLI Regional Lifesaving Lead said: ‘On behalf of the RNLI, I would like to congratulate Arwel, Alun, Drew, Oliver, William and Joshua for the great achievement of being shortlisted for the St Davids Award. Had they not been there on the beach that day, the outcome of both rescues could have been very different.’

For information on how to stay safe on the beach this summer, please visit https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety