A MAN who witnessed the tragic events leading up to the death of a swimmer at Porth Neigwl last month has urged people to donate what they can to the emergency services who help people at the coast.
Bryn Dando was at the beach on 6 August, the day that Stephen Hulsmeier got into difficulty in the water.
Mr Hulsmeier saved his friend’s daughter’s life but tragically, despite the best efforts of emergency services, he died on the beach.
He said: “There’s a board at the beach near the car park that tells you how to get out of riptides, but it doesn’t tell you how to spot them.
“It would be good to have a bigger board at this beach with more information about riptides and perhaps a memorial to the man who passed away near it. This would draw attention to the important message on the board.
“A few weeks ago I was in a riptide and I only realised I was in it once I was out of it. To get out of them, you swim parallel to the beach away from it.
“My main message to people is to donate to the emergency services. They do so much with the few resources they have.
“I’ve set up donation pages on Facebook for the Coastguard, the Wales Air Ambulance and the RNLI. The coastguard and air ambulance were magnificent on the day and, although they didn’t attend, the RNLI do some amazing work.
“Anything to support these groups is important. I’ve set up a direct debit with them and although I can’t give much, I hope it will make a difference.
“The coastguard helicopter costs around £2,000 an hour to keep in the air. If 2,000 people donated just a pound, then they would be funding an hour’s use of the helicopter.”
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “As a council we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the individual who recently passed away following the accident on the beach at Porth Neigwl.
“Although stunningly beautiful the Gwynedd coastline can be very dangerous, and beaches can be very unpredictable in terms of the effect and power of waves and currents. We urge all members of the public to be mindful of such hazards, to be very careful and take notice of specific information, guidance and warning signs.
“Warning signs at Porth Neigwl refer to identified hazards at this location, including strong currents, riptides and large breaking waves. Porth Neigwl is a very dynamic beach with extensive wave activity especially during moderate to strong westerly winds. Of course, riptides may occur at certain locations along the beach and under varying conditions but the hazards at this remote and changeable location are wide-ranging.
“Efforts to increase awareness and understanding of riptides would of course be welcomed, but we also urge visitors to the coast to take particular attention of the existing safety signage at the beach entrances and to be aware of current weather and tidal conditions.”