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Friends pay moving tributes to mum who becomes 4th victim in paddleboard tragedy
November 8, 2021
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Heartbroken friends paid their respects to “a beautiful mother who was always smiling” after she became the fourth victim of a paddleboarding tragedy in recent days.
Three people were tragically killed following a horrific paddleboarding accident on the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest, Wales on October 30.
After the incident, 41-year-old mum Andrea Powell was rushed to the hospital but unfortunately, the medics couldn't save her life.
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 by emergency services but had suffered 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.
Friend Molly Bird said of Ms Powell, who has a seven-year-old son: "Friend and neighbour Molly Bird, of Bridgend, said she spent all of her spare time outdoors pursuing “adventure”.
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She told The Sun: “She was a lovely woman.
"She was always smiling and whenever I saw her she had her happy face on, even first thing in the morning."
Pal Alison Wood wrote on Facebook yesterday: “Such sad news that our beautiful friend and colleague Andrea Powell gained her wings yesterday.
“We had the pleasure of working together and experiencing the joys and girls' issues of pregnancy (mainly big pants and cankles) with lots of laughter and joy with our beautiful babies.
“You are a beautiful soul and amazing mummy. Fly high, beautiful lady.”
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."
Police have said a woman was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter and has now been released under investigation.
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 the hero dad.
Business partner and best friend of Lee West paid tribute to his late friend, telling 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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