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Three paddleboarders die in River Cleddau at Haverfordwest

31 Oct 2021 2 minute read
River Cleddau at Haverfordwest. Phot by Reading Tom is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Three paddleboarders have died and one is in a critical condition after a group got into difficulty on the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest on Saturday morning

Dyfed-Powys Police said two women and a man died at the scene, and a woman remains in hospital following the incident. Five other people were rescued.

Emergency services first received reports of people in distress in the river shortly after 9am on Saturday, and dozens of firefighters, police officers, medics and other experts responded to assist with the search and rescue operation.

Port Talbot

According to PA Media those involved were part of the South Wales Paddle Boarders and Salty Dog Co, based in Port Talbot.

Dyfed-Powys police said the victims’ next of kin were being supported by specialist officers but have not released any names.

“The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated, but it is believed that the group got into difficulty in the water,” Dyfed-Powys Police said in a statement.

“Two women and a man died at the scene, and a woman remains in a critical condition in hospital. A further five people were rescued without injury.”

A total of 20 police officers and 30 firefighters from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, including specialist water rescue technicians, were involved in the rescue.

At the time of the incident the river was flooded and had become turbulent following a heavy downpour.

Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Rees said a full investigation was already underway, but at this stage his thoughts were focused on the loved ones of those who had died and the injured paddleboarder who remains in hospital.

He thanked emergency service colleagues for their swift support, and the public for their patience throughout the incident.

DCI Rees has appealed to anyone who may have information that could assist the investigation to get in touch through a dedicated website here…

HM Coroner, Health and safety Executive and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have been informed.

A MAIB spokesman said: “A team of inspectors from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has deployed to Haverfordwest to undertake a preliminary assessment of the accident, working in co-operation with other agencies.

“The aim of the MAIB’s preliminary assessment is to help with determining the way forward.”

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