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Stonemason's 'need' to restore Mumbles Lifeboat crew memorials

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

Oystermouth cemetery supervisor Andy Parsons with stonemason Mike Isaac.

Oystermouth cemetery supervisor Andy Parsons with stonemason Mike Isaac.

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REPAIRS to memorials of eight Mumbles lifeboat crew who lost their lives at sea have been carried out for free.

The Oystermouth Cemetery memorials mark the resting place of crew members from the Edward Prince of Wales, which sank during a rescue mission in horrendous conditions in 1947.

Stonemason boss Mike Isaac, of Swansea firm George J Isaac and Son, said he felt it was his duty to see to the work.

He explained that his father, George, had served in the merchant navy and became very close to the lifeboat crew on his return.

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"These memorials are an important part of our history and need to be preserved," said Mr Isaac, of Sketty.

"When I was informed they needed work on them, I offered to complete the work free of charge.

"If my dad was still around he would have done the work, so I felt I needed to do it."

The requirement to carry out the work surfaced during safety assessments over the last five years of the 12,000 headstones and memorials at the council-run cemetery.

Tim Conway, Mumbles RNLI operations manager, said: "This is great news that these brave men are continuing to be remembered.

"I'm sure their memory will continue to live on, along with other lifeboat crew members who have given their lives trying to save others."

The RNLI also has a permanent memorial to the crew members at All Saints' Church, Mumbles.

The 7,219-tonne Samtampa was travelling from Middlesbrough to Newport when she developed an engine fault and drifted onto rocky ledges at Sker Point, near Porthcawl, in huge seas.

The disaster claimed the lives of all Samtampa's 39-strong crew, along with the eight crewmen from the Edward Prince of Wales.

It was arguably the worst maritime tragedy to hit the South Wales coast.

Within 24 hours of the tragedy, however, a new lifeboat crew had been formed in Mumbles and the service carried on as before.

Mumbles now has a new lifeboat station and Tamar class lifeboat.

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