Woman arrested as fourth person confirmed dead after paddleboarding incident

·2-min read

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

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

The arrest comes as police confirm the fourth death, 41-year-old Andrea Powell, from Bridgend, who was taken to hospital after the incident.

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.

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

The river Cleddau in Haverfordwest (Bronwen Weatherby/PA)
The river Cleddau in Haverfordwest (Bronwen Weatherby/PA)

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.

“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.”

Heddlu Dyfed-Powys Police said: “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.

Hundreds of people gathered in Port Talbot on Saturday morning in memory of Mr O’Dwyer.

During the event, surfers from Aberavon surf club, many of whom were close friends of Mr O’Dwyer, took to the water despite the choppy sea.

Business partner and best friend of 22 years Lee West paid tribute to his late friend, who was a former director of COPR Bar in Swansea and the founder of veterans’ charity Sa1ute.

He told Wales Online: “He was great fun. He’d be like your corny uncle in the corner, with his corny jokes.

“He was just a genuine lovely, lovely man”.

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”

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