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Three paddle boarders die and one fighting for life in flood swept waters

Paul O’Dwyer

Three people have died, and another is fighting for their life after a team of paddleboarders were swept away in a flash flood.

Nine paddle boarders found themselves in difficulties on the River Cleddau, near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire.


Locals had reported seeing people “in distress” on the water.

Dyfed-Powys Police said two women and a man had died at the scene.

Another woman is in a “critical condition” in hospital.

The dead man has been named as Paul O’Dwyer – a former soldier.

His friend Peter Simon posted online:

“He was a fantastic campaigner for charity and someone with a zest for life.

“There was nothing Paul couldn’t do.

“You have been a fantastic friend and I’m so sorry that you’ve been taken so soon.”

Another friend, Josh Cuggy, wrote:

“I can’t honestly comprehend what’s happened.

“You are someone I look up to and always took advice from.

“The work you’ve done for charity will never be forgotten.

“You will live on forever as you deserve to.”

And Salty Dog Co posted a tribute to Twitter:

“It is with heavy heart that we say goodbye to our salty dog Paul.

“A lovely human being taken too soon.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with your friends and family.

“You will be missed greatly.”

A police spokeswoman:

“Three people have died and one remains in hospital following a multi-agency river rescue in Pembrokeshire yesterday.

“Dyfed-Powys Police received reports of people in distress in the Cleddau River in Haverfordwest shortly after 9am on Saturday, October 30.

“A group of nine adults from the south Wales area had travelled to Pembrokeshire for a paddle-boarding excursion.

“The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated, but it is believed that the group got into difficulty in the water.

“Sadly, two women and a man died at the scene, and a woman remains in a critical condition in hospital.

“Next of kin are being supported by specialist Family Liaison Officers.

“A further five people were rescued without injury.

“A member of the public is also believed to have entered the water to attempt a rescue, later exiting the water safely.

“Thirty firefighters from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, including specialist wading crews and swift water rescue technicians, responded to assist with the rescue.

“Two fire boats were launched to assist with bank and river searches, with crews working closely with the attending Coastguard teams.

“There was helicopter support from NPAS, Coastguard and Wales Air Ambulance, and Angle RNLI lifeboat was also tasked.

“Welsh Ambulance Service responded with several ambulances, taking the injured woman to Withybush Hospital.

“More than 20 police officers attended the scene, which remained cordoned off until around 5pm.

“A full investigation was already underway.



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