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Two people in 'imminent danger' rescued

An RAF Sea King helicopter
Two lifeboats, lifeguards and a helicopter were involved. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

The RNLI says two people were in 'imminent danger' when they were rescued after being cut off by the tide at Dunraven Bay, Southerndown.

Two lifeguards were first on the scene just before 6 o'clock yesterday evening. They had to paddle through 'pounding' waves to get to the pair.

Next on scene were two RNLI lifeboats from Porthcawl.

We could see that the RNLI Lifeguards were with the casualties, and had informed us that there were no injuries. My next concern was that we had to get the 2 persons off the beach quickly as the tide was fast approaching them. I contacted the Coastguard to inform them of my intention to land the lifeboat on the beach, but was informed that an RAF Rescue Helicopter was only 4 minutes away, so we stayed just off the beach while the helicopter winched the casualties to safety.

– Volunteer RNLI Helmsman Chris Missen

Historic RAF squadron re-launched

614 Squadron saw service in Northern Europe and North Africa before it was disbanded in 1957 Credit: Pathe Pictures

Almost 60 years after it was disbanded, the historic Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAAF) Squadron is being re-launched in Cardiff.

The 614 (Glamorgan) Squadron was formed in the capital on 1 June 1937.

It was reformed in March this year becoming the only RAF operational Reserves Squadron in Wales.

Its new headquarters at Ty Llewellyn in Cardiff is to be officially opened on Wednesday 25 June by the Secretary of State for Wales David Jones MP.

He will unveil a plaque carved in Welsh slate from the Cwt-Y-Bugail quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd to commemorate the event.

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Welsh military base celebrates 75 years

St Athan first opened in 1938 Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Images

The Royal Air Force will mark 75 years of life and work at its military base in St Athan today.

Military personnel of past and present will gather at the site in the Vale of Glamorgan to celebrate the anniversary.

There will be a church service followed by a parade of trainees and veterans who served from the 1950s onwards.

The event will also include a flypast and a drop by the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team.

Dambusters bomb had Welsh roots

The Nant y Gro Dam as it is today Credit: ITV News

The development of the 'bouncing bomb' used in the Dambusters raid by the RAF on Nazi Germany 70 years ago has it roots in a remote corner of Wales. The Nant y Gro dam on the Elan Valley Estate near Rhayader was blown up in a series of experiments overseen by Sir Barnes Wallis.

As a result he realised the only way to destroy such structures was to develop a bomb that rotated so that it would roll down the wall of the dam to its base.The bouncing bombs were used by the RAF's 617 Squadron in 1943 to breach two dams in the industrial area of the Ruhr Valley in Germany.

The resulting flooding and destruction was a sizeable blow to the Nazi war effort. The Nant y Gro was built by the Victorians to supply water to the workforce building the reservoir and other dams in the area.

When it was destroyed in the RAF experiments it had reached the end of its working life but its wartime role stayed secret for many years. However the ruins have now been cleared and it's hoped they will attract visitors to the area which is already popular with tourists.

A guided walk is planned for Saturday.

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Prince William in documentary as Search and Rescue sold off

The television series that documents Prince William's time with the Search and Rescue operations coincides with the news that the service is to be taken away from the RAF and privatised - a move that the prince is believed to have opposed.

ITV News' Royal Editor Tim Ewart reports:

Read more: Government announces that Britain's search and rescue service has been sold off to a US firm for £1.6 billion.

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Prince William aids in quarry rescue

BBC One Wales have released a short preview video for Helicopter Rescue, the documentary featuring Prince William and the Search and Rescue team at the prince's base at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

The Sea King helicopter
The Sea King helicopter Credit: BBC Wales

The Duke of Cambridge is shown piloting a helicopter on a rescue mission to a slate quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog.

One of his crew are winched from the ground after rescuing a boy who had fallen off an old railway bridge onto rocks.

Prince William speaking in the BBC documentary Helicopter Rescue
Prince William speaking in the BBC documentary Helicopter Rescue Credit: BBC Wales

"As captain you're trying to play out the entire rescue, the transit to the rescue and back again in your mind, and pick up any circumstances or problems you can foresee, and try and fix them on the ground before you get airborne," he says in the programme.

The Sea King winches one of the Search and Rescue crew
The Sea King winches one of the Search and Rescue crew Credit: BBC Wales
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Prince William in BBC search and rescue documentary

Prince William
Prince William Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Prince William is to be the subject of a BBC documentary series featuring his work as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.

Helicopter Rescue will air on BBC One Wales in April, and will show the Duke of Cambridge serving with C Flight of 22 Squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey since 2010.

Speaking in the documentary, he said:

"There's no greater feeling than when you've actually done some good and saved someone's life," he said.

"I don't think there's any greater calling in life… to be able to see a son or daughter's face when you bring their mother or father back from the edge of death - it's quite powerful."

Helicopter Rescue will air on BBC One Wales on Monday 8 April at 8:30 pm.**

*Read more: *Final chapter in RAF Sea King search and rescue

New search and rescue fleet

AW189
Two Augusta Westland AW-192 helicopters will be based at St Athan Credit: Bristow Helicopters

After winning the contract to take over search and rescue helicopter cover from the RAF, Bristow Helicopters have released details of the new fleet that will be deployed in April 2015.

There will be two helicopters at both its Welsh bases -Caernarfon Airport and the MOD site at St Athan near Barry.

S92
Caernarfon Airport will get two Sikorsky S-92 helicopters Credit: Bristow Helicopters

Caernarfon's Sikorsky helicopters will cover an area of 250 nautical miles around the base and each carry three stretchers and up to 10 seated casualties. Augusta Westlands will cover 200 nautical miles around St Athan and each have room for two stretchers and six seated casualties.

All the helicopters will have a crew of four and be capable of flying at 145 nautical miles an hour.

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New rescue helicopters 'will reach larger area of UK'

The Department for Transport has said that under the new contract helicopters will be able to reach a larger area of the UK Search and Rescue region within an hour of take-off than is currently possible.

An RAF Sea King helicopter that will no longer be used under the new contract. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

It added that, based on historic incident data, it is estimated there will be an overall improvement in flying times to incidents of around 20 percent (from 23 to 19 minutes).

Presently, approximately 70 percent of high and very high-risk areas within the UK SAR region are reachable by helicopter within 30 minutes. Under the new contract, approximately 85 percent of the same area would be reached within this time frame.

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