Woman arrested after four paddleboarders died on river in Wales

6 November 2021, 08:18 | Updated: 6 November 2021, 13:09

Morgan Rogers, Paul O'Dwyer and Nicola Wheatley died in the incident
Morgan Rogers, Paul O'Dwyer and Nicola Wheatley died in the incident. Picture: Family handouts

By Asher McShane

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter after four people died in a paddleboarding incident on a river in Wales.

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The suspect, who police said comes from South Wales, has been released under investigation.

The arrest comes as police confirmed a fourth person had died.

Andrea Powers, 41, from Bridgend, was taken to hospital after the incident but later died.

Morgan Rogers, 24, from Cefin Coed, Merthyr Tydfil, Nicola Wheatley, 40, from Pontardulais, Swansea, and Paul O'Dwyer, 42, from Sandfields, Port Talbot also died.

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A further five people were pulled out of the river River Cleddau in Haverfordwest by emergency services but had no injuries.

They were part of a group of nine from the South Wales Paddle Boarders and Salty Dog Co, an organisation based in Port Talbot involved in the incident on Saturday during a weekend trip exploring the river.

Police said in a statement: "Following the incident on Cleddau River, Haverfordwest on Saturday 30/10 a woman from the South Wales area has been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter as part of the investigation.

"She has been released under investigation.

"Sadly we can also confirm that 41-year-old Andrea Powell from the Bridgend area, who was in hospital following the incident, has now died.

"Our thoughts are with her family, and all those involved in this tragic incident."

One of those on the trip, Vickie Mckinven from Milford Haven, said Mr O'Dwyer, a former soldier and father-of-three, died attempting to rescue two fellow paddleboarders who had got into difficulty near the weir.

The family of Ms Rogers, a deputy store manager at a supermarket, paid tribute to their lost loved one, calling her "a beautiful, kind and loving soul".

Ms Wheatley, who worked as a specialist in poisons information with the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), was described by her family as "loving mother, daughter, daughter-in-law and wife".