Three people dead after flash flooding on river in Wales

Three people died and another is in hospital in “critical condition” after a group of paddleboarders was caught in flash flooding on the Cleddau River in Haverfordwest, South Wales, police confirmed.

The five people rescued from the water were not injured, Dyfed-Powys police said in a statement, adding that one man and two women died and one woman is still being treated. Names have not yet been released.

The shocking circumstances came at a time when parts of Britain received nearly a month’s worth of rainfall in 48 hours.

Police officers, the Welsh Ambulance Service (WAS), firefighters and the Coast Guard joined the so-called multi-agency search on the Cleddau River Saturday. Air support was also provided by the National Police Aviation Service (NPAS) and the Welsh Air Ambulance.

The nearby Waterfront Street was cordoned off and police asked people to avoid the area.

The incident has been called a “tragedy,” and local politicians have expressed their support for the victims.

“The news coming from the scene of the Cleddau River accident in #Haverfordwest is very sad,” tweeted Liz Saville Roberts, leader of the Plaid Cymru Party in Westminster. “May God speed up emergency services and support families.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Crabb, Tory MP for Wales in Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “Horrific incident in Haverfordwest this afternoon. Condolences to all victims and emergency services.”

A Dyfed-Powys police spokeswoman called the search and rescue operation “swift” in a statement.

Chief Inspector Jonathan Reece, who is leading the investigation, said a full investigation is already underway, but at this point his thoughts are focused on the loved ones of the victims and the injured paddleboarder, who remains in the hospital.

“Dyfed-Powys police received a report of people in distress on the Cleddau River in Haverfordwest shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday,” the statement said.

“A group of nine adults from south Wales had come to Pembrokeshire on a paddleboard tour.

“Sadly, two women and a man died at the scene and one woman is in critical condition in hospital. Immediate family members are being assisted by family liaison specialists.”

The victims were reportedly members of the South Wales Paddle Boarders and Salty Dog Co, based in Port Talbot.

Following Friday’s heavy rains, a flood warning is already in effect for rivers in the western Cleddau watershed, which police say should be followed.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Office has issued a warning of increased heavy rainfall in south Wales on Sunday.

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