A woman who died in a paddleboard accident on a river in West Wales had a “beautiful, kind and loving soul”, her family has said.
Morgan Rogers, 24, of Cefin Coed, Merthyr Tydfil, was part of a group of nine people on a weekend exploring the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest.
Miss Rogers, who was deputy store manager in a supermarket, and two others died in the incident that took place Saturday, while another woman remains in the hospital in a critical condition.
Dyfed-Powys police confirmed Tuesday that the other two victims were Nicola Wheatley, 40, of Pontardulais, Swansea, and Paul O’Dwyer, 42, of Sandfields, Port Talbot.
Five more people were pulled out of the river by the emergency services but were not injured.
The group was from the South Wales Paddle Boarders and Salty Dog Co, an organization based in Port Talbot.
A statement from Miss Rogers’ family, given to the PA news agency, said: “Morgan was a beautiful, kind and loving soul, loved by all who have been touched by her warm smile and her caring personality.
“Morgan was never happier than when she was out in the open doing what she loved and spending time with her family. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends and all those she has known along the way.
“Morgan will always be in our hearts and our memories. We will miss her very much.”
Reports described Mr O’Dwyer as a former soldier and father of three.
One of those on the trip, Vickie Mckinven of Milford Haven, said Mr O’Dwyer died in an attempt to rescue two other paddleboarders who had gotten into trouble near the overflow.
A tribute from his family, issued through police, said he had “given his life to save others”.
“He was a devoted husband, father, son and brother,” it said in a statement. “He dedicated his life to contributing to society in his many adventures in raising money for various purposes.
“Paul was a water baby. His passion for water started with Aberavon lifeguards from an early age.
“His athletic prowess extended to many different sports. He was an Army Surfing Champion, British Army seven-man rugby team member, Aberavon Green stars rugby player, ski instructor and completed several times in British and Welsh 3 peak events.
“His checklist also included the London Marathon, running a 100-mile race, numerous triathlons, including Ironman Wales and recently Stand Up Paddle-boarding 100 miles in 21 hours to raise money for heart screening in Port Talbot. Paul also helped set up a charity Salute to support veterans.
“We as a family are truly grateful for the kind messages sent to us in our time of great sorrow.”
Ms Wheatley, who worked as a poison information specialist at the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), was described by her family as “a loving mother, daughter, daughter-in-law and wife.”
Her devastated family said in a police statement: “Nicola was a beautiful, caring, considerate and funny person. She was amazing in every way.
“She has left a void in our lives that will never be filled. We now want time to mourn and will ask to be given privacy to do so.”
Detective Inspector Jonathan Rees of the Dyfed-Powys Police Department has previously revealed that the nine people got into trouble after reaching the road dam near Quay Street.
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