16 November 2021

Haverfordwest paddleboard deaths: Inquests adjourned pending police investigation

16 November 2021

The inquests into the deaths of four paddleboarders who were killed after an accident on a river in Haverfordwest have been adjourned pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Paul O’Dwyer, 42, from Port Talbot; Morgan Rogers, 24, from Merthyr Tydfil; Nicola Wheatley, 40, from Swansea; and Andrea Powell, 41, from Bridgend, died after an an incident on the Cleddau River on October 30.

They were part of a group of nine who were on a weekend paddleboarding trip together.

Pembrokeshire Coroner’s Court in Llanelli heard on Tuesday how just after 9am the group got into distress on a weir in the river in the centre of the town.

Coroner’s officer Lisa Jenkins told the hearing: “On Saturday October 30 2021 at 9.02am Dyfed-Powys Police have received a call stating there were a number of paddleboarders in distress at the weir on the Cleddau River in the centre of Haverfordwest.

Undated family handout file photos of (left to right) Morgan Rogers, Nicola Wheatley, Paul O’Dwyer and Andrea Powell, who died after a paddleboarding accident in Cleddau river in Haverfordwest.

“A number of emergency services attended the scene and commenced a search and rescue operation resulting in a major incident being declared.”

Ms Jenkins said that “tragically” Mr O’Dwyer, Ms Rogers and Ms Wheatley were declared dead at the scene.

Ms Powell was taken to the nearby Withybush Hospital but died six days later on November 5.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out on the four who died but the results are yet to be published.

Acting senior coroner Paul Bennett said: “Can I extend my belated personal condolences to the families of the four individuals who sadly lost their lives in this case.”

The inquests have been adjourned pending the outcome of the police investigation into potential criminal offences.

A woman from the South Wales area was arrested on November 6 on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter and has been released under investigation.

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