Cefn Sidan, roughly translated from Welsh, means "Silky Back". This long sandy beach and its dunes form the outer edge of the Pembrey Burrows between Burry Port and Kidwelly, looking southwards over Carmarthen Bay in South Wales.
The sands were treacherous to sailing ships and a number of vessels were certainly lost around Pembrey, including "La Jeune Emma" bound from the West Indies to France and blown badly off course in 1828. 13 of the 19 on board drowned, including Adeline Coquelin, the 12 year-old niece of Napoleon Bonaparte's divorced wife Josephine de Beauharnais. She is buried at St. Illtyds Church, Pembrey. The last large ship to be lost was the four masted windjammer, the SS Paul, carrying a cargo of timber and grounding in a storm in 1925. Today Cefn Sidan forms part of the Pembrey Country Park leisure and nature complex.
The beach is visually spectacular because of the fine structure of its sand granules - however, this makes it unsuitable for making stable structures beyond simple sand castles. On Sunday August 3, 2008 a 16 year old boy whilst digging a tunnel in the sand dunes behind the beach, was trapped after the tunnel collapsed. Swansea Coastguard said the alarm was raised at around 1910 BST, with Burry Port coastguard team on scene within 15 minutes. After helicopter Air ambulance transfer to Morriston Hospital in Swansea, doctors pronounced him dead.
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