Tributes to 'beautiful' woman, 24, killed in paddleboarding trip with two pals after sudden storm hit river

A WOMAN who died in a paddleboarding accident on a river in west Wales had a "beautiful, kind and loving soul", her family has said.

Morgan Rogers, 24, was one of nine people involved in the tragedy after fierce downpours lashed the River Cleddau in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on Saturday morning.

Miss Rogers, a deputy store manager at a supermarket from Merthyr Tydfil, and two others died while another woman was critically injured.

Five others were also rescued uninjured after a multi-agency search operation was launched.

The group was from the South Wales Paddle Boarders and Salty Dog Co, an organisation 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, 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.”

Over the weekend, former soldier and dad-of-three Paul O'Dwyer was named as one of the three who died in the tragedy.

One of the paddleboarders who was on the trip, Vickie Mckinven, said Mr O'Dwyer had died trying to rescue two fellow paddleboarders who had got into difficulty near the weir.

Ms Mckinven said: "Paul did lose his life attempting to save two of the girls also in distress due to an unexpected downpour.

"Absolutely heartbreaking, was all good friends and did so much to raise money for charities."

Mr O'Dwyer was involved with the Salty Dog Co surfshot at Aberavon Beach close to his home in Port Talbot.

In a Twitter post, Salty Dog Co wrote: "It is with heavy heart that we say goodbye to our salty dog Paul.

"A lovely human being taken too soon.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with your friends and family. You will be missed greatly."

A friend of Mr O'Dwyer's posted on Facebook: "He was a fantastic campaigner for charity and someone with a zest for life.

“There was nothing Paul couldn’t do. You have been a fantastic friend and I’m so sorry that you’ve been taken so soon.”

Dyfed-Powys Police said the exact circumstances of the tragedy are being investigated, but it's believed the group got into difficulty in the water.

In a statement read outside Haverfordwest Police Station, Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Rees said: "Dyfed-Powys Police received reports of persons in distress to Cleddau river in Haverfordwest shortly after 9am on Saturday October 30.

"A group of nine adults from the South Wales area had travelled to Pembrokeshire for a paddleboarding excursion yet had got into difficulties at the weir adjacent to Quay Street.

"A significant operation, a rescue operation, was commenced involving resources from Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Wales Ambulance Service Trust, Dyfed-Powys Police, the coastguard and the RNLI.

"Search activity was assisted by helicopters.

"At this stage, my thoughts and the thoughts of my colleagues are with the family of those who lost loved ones, and of the injured person who remains in hospital."

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