Family pays tribute to ‘devoted’ couple who died at waterfalls

The family of two women who died after falling into a fast-flowing river in Wales has paid tribute to a “devoted, selfless, and loving couple”.

Rachael, 33, and Helen Patching, 52, were visiting the Ystradfellte waterfalls in Powys on holiday.

An alarm was raised at around 11.45am on January 4 when the couple, from Kent, were seen in the water.

Their bodies were later recovered by emergency services.

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In a social media statement, Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team said the search had been impeded by “high levels of fast-flowing water in the river which is influenced by prevailing weather”.

In a joint statement released by Dyfed-Powys Police, their families paid tribute and thanked emergency services for the attempted rescue.

They said: “We are devastated to have suffered such an immeasurable loss following the news of Rachael and Helen’s passing at just 33 and 52.

“They were such a devoted, selfless, and loving couple having had an immensely positive impact on all those they met.

“Their love for animals and dedication to caring for them so lovingly over the years made them a truly admirable credit to themselves and society.

“Their endless laughter will be forever remembered by all who had the honour to know them.

“There are no words that can express enough how highly they were both thought of by family members, friends, and colleagues.

“We would like to thank all those who have provided such generous support and guidance, including the unwavering commitment of the Brecon Beacons Mountain Rescue volunteers, the police, National Police Air Support, Mid and West Wales Fire Service, National Resource Wales, the Welsh Ambulance Service and Powys County Council for helping so selflessly at such a difficult time.

“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”