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Search called off after group gets into ‘distress’ on Pembrokeshire river

A search and rescue operation launched after a group got into “distress” on a river in Wales has been stood down.

Speaking on Saturday evening, DCI Jonathan Rees of Dyfed-Powys Police said everyone in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, had been accounted for.

He said the priority was to ensure that all those involved, and their families, had been contacted and were being supported.

A paddle board being carried by police. Pic: Martin Cavaney
Image: A paddle board being carried by police. Pic: Martin Cavaney

It emerged earlier that one person had been taken to hospital.

A photograph from the scene showed police carrying a paddle board, while another showed three paddle boards on a road beside the River Cleddau.

Sky News correspondent Helen-Ann Smith, who is there, said the river is flowing “deceptively quickly” after a lot of rain fell on Friday.

More on Pembrokeshire

Stephen Crabb, Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said: “Horrific incident in Haverfordwest this afternoon. Thoughts with all involved and the emergency services responding.”

Liz Saville Roberts, leader of Plaid Cymru in Westminster, said the news was “distressing”, adding: “God speed the emergency services and support the families.”

An investigation is looking into how the incident happened, DCI Rees said.

Three paddle boards beside the river. Pic: Martin Cavaney
Image: Three paddle boards beside the river. Pic: Martin Cavaney

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was called at 9.16am to reports of a “water-based incident involving multiple people near Quay Street, Haverfordwest”.

A spokesperson added: “We responded with two rapid response vehicles, three emergency ambulances and two units from the Wales Air Ambulance.

“One patient (was) transferred by road to Withybush Hospital for further treatment.”

The coastguard said it was a “multi-agency response” including the fire service and “other emergency responders”.

Emergency services at the river. Pic: Martin Cavaney
Image: Emergency services at the river. Pic: Martin Cavaney

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