New car park for Burry Port Harbor – Swansea Bay News
A tragic incident in Llangennith almost a decade ago, where schoolboy Sam Capper tragically lost his life, inspired a loving grandmother to do her best for the RNLI this Mayday, in tribute to Burry Port volunteers RNLI who answered the call to help.
Birkenhead police officer Leah Hunt officially kicked off this year’s Mayday Mile fundraiser by meeting her local RNLI team in West Kirby for the first time and revealing details of her own Mayday Walking Challenge on May 22.
Latest figures released today by the RNLI revealed that the number of lives saved by RNLI crews from Flint to Penarth rose by 22% in 2021. In Wales, volunteer lifeboat crews saved 45 lives in 2021 compared to 37 in 2020.
Leah says the figures released today are stark reminders of why the RNLI is such a vital charity.
She calls on people to support Mayday and raise money for crews, such as the Burry Port RNLI crew who helped save her son Lewis, in an incident that tragically took the life of her youngest son , Sat.
Sam Capper, 15, from Rock Ferry died in hospital after falling overboard when a wave hit him in Llangennith, Swansea, in 2012. His older brother Lewis, now 31, jumped after Sam and held him up before being rescued by an RAF rescue helicopter and a Burry Port RNLI lifeboat.
To support Mayday, Leah will take part in the Wirral Coastal Walk on May 22 with Lewis’ three children, Archie, nine, Kael, seven and Neala, five. All will wear yellow wellington boots as a tribute to the RNLI teams across the UK and Ireland who are ready to drop everything when called for help.
Leah says: “Before I lost Sam, I now realize that these people never occurred to me, but were there for my family when I needed them most and to think volunteers would risk their own safety to my family is just amazing and i am forever grateful.
“This walk is definitely not about me, it’s about keeping Sam’s memory alive. The 10and anniversary of his passing – it is more important to me than ever to see his legacy continue in such a positive way. I would do anything for the RNLI and walking is just one of the ways I want to say thank you. We visit Burry Port regularly and they made us feel like part of their family and for that I am so grateful.
“While the tragedy of losing Sam will never go away, they have given my son Lewis back to me and I will forever be indebted to them. I am really looking forward to hiking the Wirral Coastal Path for Mayday and will be talking to my grandchildren of the uncle they never met.”
The busiest station in Wales in 2021 was The Mumbles where lifeboats were launched 95 times and helped 143 people.
Next is Tenby where the lifeboats were launched 78 times and helped 36 people. It was the Porthcawl RNLI that saved the most lives in 2021, with 11 people still alive today thanks to the volunteer crew.
Events take place across Wales in support of RNLI fundraising where people are encouraged to walk, jog, skip or skip. The Mayday Mile which challenges you to walk at least one mile as you see fit between Saturday May 1 and Tuesday May 31, while raising vital funds for RNLI lifeguards so they can continue to provide safety people at sea.
In Tenby, RNLI supporters are invited to sign up for a virtual walk and Penarth RNLI will also be hosting a sponsored walk on May Day.
Porthcawl RNLI crew and supporters are calling on locals to join a march on May Day and have chosen a five, 10 or 15km challenge to raise funds.
Faye Maher, RNLI Engagement Manager for Wales, says: “Last year has been exceptionally busy for our crews across Wales, but our volunteers could not continue to save lives without the generous support of the public.
“With the growing popularity of the Welsh coastline, we are expecting a busy summer and we are very grateful to everyone who answered our Mayday call. It is exciting to see the details of all the events coming in and I hope that people will enjoy participating while raising much-needed funds to help us continue to save lives.
Main image: Leah and her grandchildren with the West Kirby RNLI crew (Image: RNLI/David Edwards)