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Dyfed Powys Police

Families pay tribute to three paddleboarders who died in River Cleddau incident

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The families of the three people who died following an incident on the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest on Saturday have paid tribute to their loved ones.

Dyfed Powys Police have named the three people who died in the paddleboarding incident as Morgan Rogers, 24, from Cefin Coed, Merthyr Tydfil; Nicola Wheatley, 40, from Pontardulais, Swansea and Paul O’Dwyer, 42, from Sandfields, Port Talbot.

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The family of Morgan Rogers said:“Morgan was a beautiful, kind and loving soul, beloved by all who have been touched by her warm smile and her caring personality.

“Morgan was never happier than when she was in the outdoors 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 dearly.”

Morgan was the best that she could be. She will be sadly missed by her mother, father, Rhys, Harry, Holly and Katy”.

Nicola Wheatley’s family said: “We are devastated by our loss. Nicola was a loving mother, daughter, daughter-in-law and wife.   

“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 would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.” 

Nicola’s colleagues said: “Nikki began her employment with Cardiff And Vale UHB in July 2006 as a Specialist in Poisons Information with the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), Cardiff, having begun her toxicology career with Guys and St Thomas’s, London.  

“A highly experienced member of the 24/7 telephone enquiry team, Nikki provided advice to healthcare professionals managing poisoned patients. She will be remembered for her calm, friendly and totally professional manner – even when faced with the most difficult of cases.  

“Nikki was an enthusiastic, dedicated and an incredibly capable colleague. She was our ‘go to’ person for organising projects and campaigns. Recently, she successfully oversaw a complex and challenging project developing safety sheets for our pharmacy colleagues at the St Mary’s unit. Nikki is also remembered as a gifted and dedicated scientist, who made significant contributions to the field of toxicology and presented her work at an international level.  

“Through her lovely personality, Nikki made many friends during her time in public service and will be sorely missed by her friends and colleagues at the NPIS. Nikki leaves her young family, husband and extended family. Our thoughts are with them at this terrible time.”

The family of Paul O’Dwyer said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Paul O’Dwyer aged 42, who gave his life to save others. 

“He was a devoted husband, father, son and brother. He devoted his life to contributing to society in his many adventures in raising money for different causes.

“Paul was a water baby. His passion for the water started with Aberavon lifeguards from an early age.

“His sporting prowess extended to many different sports. He was an army surfing champion, British Army 7 aside rugby team member, Aberavon Green stars rugby player, ski instructor and completed multiple times in British and Welsh 3 peak events.

“His tick list 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 to set up a charity Sa1ute to support veterans.

“We as a family are truly thankful for the kind messages sent to us in our time of great sadness.”

A woman remains in a critical condition in hospital.

A further five people were rescued without injury.

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Police are continuing with their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

(All images: Dyfed Powys Police)

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