THREE people have died and a woman is fighting for her life in hospital after a group of paddleboarders got into distress on a river in Haverfordwest, South Wales.
Two women and a man died at the scene and a woman is in a critical condition in hospital after fierce downpours hit River Cleddau in Pembrokeshire.
A group of nine adults from the south Wales area had travelled to the area for a paddle-boarding excursion.
Another five people were rescued uninjured after a multi-agency operation was launched yesterday, police confirmed today.
A member of the public is also believed to have gone into the water to attempt a rescue before leaving safely.
A witness who saw the horror unfold said: "A man's body was seen in the river and a woman was also taken away. She seemed alive but didn't look very well at all.
TRAGEDY ON WELSH RIVER
"It is terrible and just so tragic. It started off a lovely Saturday morning then the river just swelled up.
"It must have been terrifying."
A second witness said a "young woman" was pulled from the river.
"They were just below the weir when they were hit by a flash flood which came from nowhere," they said.
"It was raining hard at the time and the river levels are quite high because of the bad weather we've had this week.
"There are two air ambulances here along with police and coastguard helicopters.
"It's a major operation but they seem to be concentrating their effort down river now looking for the missing man."
Dyfed-Powys Police said the exact circumstances of the traged are being investigated, but it's believed the group got into difficulty in the water.
Helicopters hovered above the water while police combed the banks after emergency services received reports of two men and a woman in distress close to the town centre.
It's understood the group had travelled from south-east Wales. They were visiting as part of an adventure trip, it's believed.
Police recovered three paddleboards from the river and stacked them on the bank during their search today.
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