Wales: EXERCISE – Coastguard Rescue Teams, RNLI lifeboats, RAF search & rescue helicopter, Police, Fire & Ambulance attend major incident in Cardiff Bay – 020414 1100z

(Photo: Barry Coastguard)

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Swansea Coastguard was first contacted just before 11am this morning to reports that two boats had collided in Cardiff Bay.
The Penarth, Barry and Chepstow Coastguard Rescue Teams have been sent to the scene, along with the Penarth and Barry RNLI lifeboats and the RAF search and rescue helicopter from RMB Chivenor. Police, fire and ambulance crews are also in attendance.
At this time, it is not clear how many people were on board and the extent of any injuries. A search and rescue mission is ongoing.” – MCA

“Barry Coastguard at Cardiff Bay with all emergency services, carrying out major incident training. With Penarth and Chepstow Coastguard . Air sea rescue have been tasked to assist in a mock rescue in the Bay” – Barry Coastguard

Kyrgyzstan: Police abuse & torture gay & bisexual men says HRW – 020214 2243z

Kyrgyzstan: Police Abuse & Extortion of Gay Men
Threats, Detention, Beatings, Sexual Attacks
January 29, 2014

“(Bishkek) Police in Kyrgyzstan have extorted, threatened, arbitrarily detained, beaten, and sexually abused gay and bisexual men, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Although consensual sex between men was decriminalized in Kyrgyzstan in 1998, police target gay and bisexual men for violence and extortion, Human Rights Watch found.


The 65-page report, They Told Us We Deserved This: Police Violence against Gay and Bisexual Men in Kyrgyzstan, found that gay and bisexual men have been subjected to a range of abuses at the hands of police in Kyrgyzstan, including physical, sexual, and psychological violence; arbitrary detention; and extortion under the threat of violence or of exposing victims sexual orientation to friends and family. The report is based on detailed interviews with 40 gay and bisexual men in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. The government should condemn and thoroughly investigate reports of abuse and establish a confidential complaint mechanism for all cases of abuse by police officers.

Gay and bisexual men in Kyrgyzstan already live in fear due to widespread homophobic attitudes, and the police are making a nightmarish situation even worse, said Anna Kirey, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. Kyrgyzstan authorities at the very top levels need to call a halt to this police abuse and make sure that gay and bisexual men have the protection they need.

Violence, blackmail, and extortion by police, and a lack of accountability for these crimes are all too common in Kyrgyzstan. But those who belong to minority groups are particularly vulnerable. Gay and bisexual men are easy targets for abuse because of the populations deep social conservatism.

Kyrgyzstan police target gay and bisexual men in parks, gay clubs, hotel rooms, and on dating websites. Human Rights Watch documented cases of severe physical violence against gay and bisexual men including punching, kicking, and beating with gun butts, batons, empty beer bottles, or other objects. Several gay men also reported sexual violence by police officers including rape, group rape, and attempts to put a stick, a hammer, or an electric shock device in the persons anus, as well as gratuitous touching during a search, or being forced to undress in front of police.

Fathullo F. (not his real name), 32, told Human Rights Watch that in May 2012 he went to what he thought was a date with another man. When he arrived at the meeting place, police officers grabbed and handcuffed him. They took him to a police station, where they beat him to force him to write a confession and to give them contact information for his employer and his family. He said the officers threatened to initiate a criminal sodomy case against him unless he gave them money and contact information of other gay men, and that he suspected they wanted to target these other men for extortion.

The officers told me that people like me do not deserve to be on face of the earth, Fathullo told Human Rights Watch. I asked them to let me sit down because I was tired. They said that I didnt deserve to use their chair and spat on me. They said that I didnt deserve to live, and threatened to destroy me if I didnt give them 10,000 soms [US$214].

In another case, Demetra D., 32, from Bishkek told Human Rights Watch that in four separate incidents between 2004 and 2011, police officers took him into custody and raped him, attempted to rape him, or allowed other detainees to rape him.

Only two of the 40 men Human Rights Watch interviewed had filed complaints with the police. Neither case led to anyone being held accountable for the abuse. The others said they did not file complaints for fear of retaliation or of having information about their sexual orientation sent to their families or employers. Human Rights Watch has not been able to find a single case in which a police officer has been held accountable for the arbitrary detention, extortion, torture, or ill-treatment of a gay or bisexual man.

The government of Kyrgyzstan has taken a number of measures to stop torture and ill-treatment in detention facilities, but have no mechanism to file complaints about police abuse for people who are not incarcerated. The government should establish an independent mechanism to which any victim of police abuse, including gay and bisexual men, can turn without fear of their privacy being violated.

Police officers in Kyrgyzstan know that they can beat, rape, and otherwise torment gay men and extort money from them without suffering any consequences, Kirey said. Nobody should live in fear because of whom they love. Kyrgyzstans authorities need to put a stop to police abuse of gay men.

Selected testimonies

It was the worst thing for me when they threatened to tell my family. I have brothers who are very religious. One word and this would be death [for me]. I wrote what the police told me to write. I was scared that they would tell my family. I wrote my name and address. I didnt know what to do. They let me go after I said that I could give them 3,000 soms (US$60). They threatened me and then let me go [get the money]. I had to lie to my mom to get this money. I went back to the station and gave the money to the police. I asked for my statement, and they handed it to me and insisted I tear it up in their presence. Isroil I. (not his real name), a victim of police abuse and extortion

The police said, Are you a faggot? Why do you come here? Then they pointed a gun at me and showed their IDs. One of them hit me in the temple and I fell on their car. They threw me in the car and drove around for some time. They said they would drown me in a canal if I didnt give them US$600. In the car they hit me in the head with the handle of the gun. Then took me to the police station, kicked me some more, and said that they would call my mom and tell her about the kinds of clubs I visit. Maksim Bratukhin, head of the Bishkek-based LGBT rights group Pathfinder, who said that several police officers detained and beat him, and threatened him with death after he left a gay nightclub in Bishkek in April 2008.” – HRW

What Kyrgyzstan should do
Condemn violence and extortion by the police of gay and bisexual men.
Hold to account police officers engaged in such abuses.
Ensure that all victims have access to an independent and confidential complaints mechanism.
What others should do
Make LGBT rights issues an integral part of bilateral and multilateral dialogues with the Kyrgyz government. Support LGBT rights and torture prevention through relevant assistance programs, including police reform and training.” – HRW

UK: Plymouth search for missing Desmond White (45yrs) continues – 140913 1010z

Police are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of Desmond White.


(Photo: Devon & Cornwall.Police)




Desmond is described as male, white, aged 45years, 5f8h tall, slim build, usually wears jeans and a T shirt.
Desmond was last seen in the Ernesettle Lane area, Ernesettle, Plymouth, near to the Vi-Spring factory on the morning of Thursday 12th September 2013.
Any person with any information regarding the whereabouts of Desmond are asked to contact Devon & Cornwall Police on 101 quoting log number 0470 120913.


Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team ( were called out to search the Ernesettle Lane area of Plymouth for   Desmond. 1730 last night. The search is currently on-going.


(Photo: Plymouth Herald) Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team)


(Photo: DSRT Plymouth) Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team on day two of callout)


Other Reports


Police concern for missing man, extensive search operation ongoing


gPolice are growing increasingly concerned for the safety of a missing Plymouth man, Desmond White.


Desmond is described as male, white, aged 45, 5f8h tall, of slim build, usually wearing jeans and a T-shirt.


Desmond was last seen in the Ernesettle Lane area, Ernesettle, Plymouth, near to the Vi-Spring factory yesterday morning, Thursday.


An extensive search operation for Desmond was carried out late into the night and resumed this morning.


(Photo: Plymouth Herald) Police at the search scene


Police searching for Desmond White have appealed to a ggood Samaritanh who hooked a carrier bag of snack bars on a tree branch in Ernesettle.


Missing person search manager, Sergeant Ryan Canning said he was hoping the member of the public could assist the police with the exact location in which the bag was found.


He said: gAt the time he was reported missing a carrier bag with some snack bars in it was found hooked onto a tree in the area he was last seen by the water treatment works on a footpath along Ernesettle Lane.


gWe believe it was probably hooked on the tree by a member of the public who thought somebody had lost the bag and has then done the good Samaritan thing picked it up and put it on a branch. We are asking for that person to come forward so we can identify exactly where the bag was found.h


If you know anything about the carrier bag with the snack bars in it, please contact the police by calling 101 quoting log number 0470 120913.h h – Plymouth Herald


See Plymouth Herald video (link)

Saturday 14 Sept 2013

Update: Search for missing Plymouth man Desmond White continues


“Concerns were growing last night for a missing man who has not been seen since Thursday morning.

The search for Desmond White was due to resume this morning. He disappeared after being dropped off for work on Ernesettle Lane at 7.05am on Thursday.

(Photo: Plymouth Herald) Volunteers from Dartmoor Rescue, Plymouth continue the search

Police are hoping a carrier bag with snack bars in it found hooked on to a tree could help the investigation into his disappearance, which is said to be “completely out of character”.


A multi-agency search began on Thursday and continued throughout yesterday until darkness fell.

(Photo: Plymouth Herald) Desmond White


Despite the best efforts of teams from Devon and Cornwall Police, Dartmoor Search and Rescue Plymouth, the MOD Police and assistance from the police force helicopter, Mr White remained missing last night.


Police searching for the 45-year-old have appealed to a “good Samaritan” who it is believed hooked a carrier bag of snack bars on to a tree branch.


Sergeant Ryan Canning said he was hoping the member of the public could assist the police with the exact location in which the bag was found.


He said: “At the time he was reported missing a carrier bag with some snack bars in it was found hooked onto a tree in the area he was last seen by the water treatment works on a footpath along Ernesettle Lane.


“We believe it was probably hooked on the tree by a member of the public who thought somebody had lost the bag and has then done the good Samaritan thing picked it up and put it on a branch.” – Plymouth Herald


Dartmoor Rescue Group

The Dartmoor Rescue Group was started in 1968 in the Tavistock area when a small group of local moorland enthusiasts started helping the police with search and rescue on Dartmoor. 

In due course a recognised official rescue team was formed which became affiliated to the Mountain Rescue Council. Currently the Group consists of four Search and Rescue Teams (SART) based in Ashburton, Okehampton, Tavistock and Plymouth. Each team is a separate charity and is capable of functioning independently. However the teams frequently operate together and so each team is part of the Dartmoor Rescue Group which is a separate charity and which co-ordinates common training, equipment and communications issues and is the main contact point for outside organisations. 

Each team will tend to work in its own geographical area but may need to work anywhere on Dartmoor to support other Dartmoor Search and Rescue teams. Depending on the number of people who require rescuing or the area to be searched, a callout may consist of one, two or three teams and usually at least one team is kept as a back up in case of an extended operation. DRG teams provide a search and rescue service in the rest of Devon and Cornwall and may be used to support the Cornwall and the Exmoor Search and Rescue teams.

UK: Gravesend man feared dead after trying to save young girl from the sea – Heroic youngsters help rescue girl – 150713 1725z

The search of the River Thamesfor a man feared drownedafter trying to save a young girlhas been called off.

The man – believed to live locally and in his 20s – went missingin the river off Gravesend yesterday as four children rushed to rescue him and the girl, who was saved.

A search – which included the Kent Police Marine Unit, coastguard and helicopter – took place soon after the man disappeared.

There was another search at about midnight and continued today just after noon.

Kent Police said there has been no sign of the man and the active hunt has now concluded.

A spokesman said the man’s family have been informed.

The prom was taped off on Sunday by police
Earlier, a schoolgirl told how she and pals risked their own lives to save the man when he got into difficulties rescuing the girl.

St John’s comprehensive pupil Weronika Medlewska, 15, was one of four youngsters who tried to help the struggling recuer at Gordon Promenade yesterday.

Emergency services were called at 3.47pm following a report that a man had been seen in the water and had not resurfaced.

The RNLI lifeboat from Gravesend was sent immediately to the scene.

Emergency services at the scene yesterday. Picture Luka Hanmore

Meanwhile St John’s pupils Jake Cornish, 16, and Weronika Medlewska, 15, and Swan Valley pupils Lewis Rossiter, 18, and Kieran Wellard, 16, went in to the water to help the man and girl.

Weronika said: “Me and my mate were the ones that tried saving him, but i think it was too late.

“We jumped into the water and tried getting him out but he was just going down and he was pulling us under the water with him.

“It breaks my heart because I know I couldn’t save him – he was too heavy for us.

“He was 28 and we’re 15-16. Still shocked. Just hope they will find him soon.

“We tried our best, we couldn’t risk our lives.”

St John’s deputy head Michael O’Shea said: “We’re just so proud of them. Knowing them as I do, it doesn’t surprise me that they’ve jumped in to help someone.”

The girl was safely rescued, but the man disappeared under the water.

Pru Fahey, a member of staff at St John’s school on Rochester Road, said: “Yesterday I was at the prom in Gravesend where I witnessed a terrible situation unfolding.

“A girl and a boy were in the Thames when they got taken under by the current.

“A woman came over screaming, saying ‘please help, my daughter’s drowning’ when one of our students jumped in without a second thought and helped save the girl.

“It was Jake Cornish. It was a real act of bravery and I was extremely proud.”

Temperatures in the area topped 30C yesterday.

London Coastguard watch manager Philip Myers said yesterday: “The lifeboat was on scene really quickly this afternoon and everyone involved did everything they could to find the man.

“We will carry out a search of the shoreline tonight but this is increasingly looking like a tragic accident.”

The South East Coast Ambulance Service was also on the scene after the initial alarm was raised.

This weekend, Gravesend will be hosting Party on the Prom which Gravesham council has confirmed will still go ahead.” – kentonline

Video: A lifeboat searches the Thames for the missing man


Gravesend man still missing after rescuing young girl from the sea

A MULTI-AGENCY search continued last night for a man who is feared drowned after rescuing a young girl in Gravesend.

The Medway Coastguard Rescue team, Gravesend RNLI, Port of London Authority and Kent Police searched the shoreline off Gravesend Promenade at midnight to find the missing man after he got into difficulty yesterday afternoon at 3.30pm.

The RNLI lifeboat was sent immediately to the scene while four members of the public went in to the water to help the man and girl.

The girl was safely rescued but unfortunately the man disappeared under the water.

Two launches from the Port of London Authority and Metropolitan Police joined the RNLI lifeboat in searching the sea with the Essex Police helicopter searching from the air.

Unfortunately the man was not found.

London Coastguard Watch Manager Philip Myers said yesterday:

“The lifeboat was on scene really quickly this afternoon and everyone involved did everything they could to find the man. We will carry out a search of the shoreline tonight but this is increasingly looking like a tragic accident.” – thisiskent

Last update from Gravesend Lifeboat at 16.25pm Monday 15 July: “Low water search carried out. Nothing found.” – GravesendRNLI

UK: Cliff rescue after 3 fell from cliffs at Newquay, Cornwall – 080513 1555z

During the evening of 7 May a large party of international young people, mainly Austrian, Swiss, German and English, mostly aged in their early twenties attended the Lowenick restaurant on Pentire, Newquay for a farewell dinner.

The group had been travelling all week engaging in activities promoting international relations. The group are currently staying in the Penzance area. Three young men from the party decided to go climbing on the cliffs near to Pentire Headland. Two of the group of three fell from the cliffs approximately 5 metres into the sea.
The two men were located on rocks at the base of the cliffs on the North side of Pentire Head near to Pentire Point. One man, a 22 year old Swiss man sustained a fractured pelvis after hitting rocks as he fell.
He was airlifted by Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from the scene and taken to Treliske hospital, Truro where he remains. The uninjured man was rescued by the lifeboat and taken to Newquay harbour.
. Staff from both Newquay and Padstow Coastguard attended the incident along with a Sea King Helicopter from RNAS Culdrose and two Newquay lifeboats.
Inspector Dave Meredith commented:

“With the summer season fast approaching, this incident is a timely reminder of the dangers of the areas around cliffs. The two persons who fell into the sea were not suitably dressed or equipped to go near or on such dangerous cliffs.
Light was fading and other members of this large group were also put in danger by their efforts to locate the two missing men.
It is fortunate that we are not today dealing with a fatal Newquay cliff fall.”

Newquay cliff fall scene May 7, 2013

(Video credit: Stephen Creswell)

Seeking African asylum where gays are beaten, raped


The ugly side of Capetown through the eyes of a gay asylum-seeker

While many flocked into South Africa for the World Cup and job opportunities, his only reason was to seek protection from persecution by his family and the wider society back home.

When he fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2010, hoping to start a new life away from the people baying for his blood, he did not envisage the anguish and terror that was to befall him. He endured discrimination at the refugee camp in Capetown, then suffered an attempted rape by a police officer and a brutal assault by a homophobic man.

Such is the plight of Junior Mayema, 25, a gay man seeking refuge in South Africa.  Although neither his native country nor his country of refuge is one of the 76-plus countries with laws against homosexual activity, both are inhospitable to LGBT…

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