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Rare whale found on south Wales beach

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Northern bottlenose whale carcass on Sker beach in Bridgend, showing distinctive bulbous forehead and long beak. Photo by Fay Lorraine Phillips/ Sea Watch Foundation.

Northern bottlenose whale carcass on Sker beach in Bridgend, showing distinctive bulbous forehead and long beak.(Pic. by Fay Lorraine Phillips / Sea Watch Foundation)

THE SEA WATCH FOUNDATION were “flabbergasted” to see photos of a dead Northern bottlenose whale that had washed up on Sker veach near Porthcawl in Bridgend on Sunday (Sep 11).

The photographs were sent by Neil Bright and his girlfriend Fay Lorraine Phillips, who discovered the animal as they walked their dog.

The species can usually be found in deep ocean trenches and is usually only seen in British waters off the north-west coast of Scotland.

The images were immediately forwarded to the marine mammal strandings coordinator for Wales, Rod Penrose, who was able to confirm that he’d already attended the animal which was a 5.3m long northern bottlenose whale and had taken samples for DNA testing.

“Due to the state of decomposition together with extensive scavenger damage of the carcass I was unable to determine the cause of death” stated Rod.

bottlenose whales from above. Photo by S Hooker/ Sea Watch Foundation

bottlenose whales from above. (pic. S Hooker/ Sea Watch Foundation)

“This is the third record for Wales, the first was a 6.7m live stranding in Tenby, Pembrokeshire in August 1996 which was luckily persuaded to swim away, the second was a 6.21m female in slight decomposition which stranded at Prestatyn, Denbighshire in October 2009.”

Kathy James, Sightings Officer for Sea Watch Foundation, said: “Northern bottlenose whales have extremely bulbous heads with a protruding ‘bottle-shaped’ beak similar to that of a bottlenose dolphin

“These animals are much larger than their dolphin counterparts measuring up to 10m in length in males. It is thought that this individual is a juvenile as we’d expect an adult to be a minimum of 7.5m”

The most famous bottlenose whale is the ‘Thames Whale’ which found its way into the River Thames in London ten years ago. This disorientated individual was found to be a female measuring 5.85m and died following a failed rescue attempt. In January the whale was commemorated with a march from the Natural History Museum (where its bones are displayed) to Battersea park beach where she stranded.

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea

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A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.

The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.

Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”

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Police appeal after Llanelli assault: victim required hospital treatment

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DYFED POWYS POLICE is investigating an assault which occurred on Regalia Terrace, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire at about 12.05am, Sunday 3rd July.

The victim required hospital treatment.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the person in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the person is, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Please quote reference DP-20220703-011

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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