Two paddleboarders feared killed in UK flash flood with ‘people in distress’

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There are fears at least two paddleboarders have died after being swept away in a sudden flash flood at the river Cleddau at Haverfordwest, Wales.

At least three people were on boards in the river when they got into "distress" amid sudden flooding at about 9am on Saturday morning, police said.

Two people are believed to have died while a third was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition.

A spokeswoman for Dyfed Powys Police said earlier today: "A multi-agency search is taking place of the river Cleddau in Haverfordwest following reports of people in distress in the water.

"The Quay Street and surrounding areas have been cordoned off, and we are asking the public to keep clear of the area at this time. Ambulance, fire and Coastguard crews, including Coastguard helicopter, are assisting with the search."

Local councillor Lyndon Frayling told Wales Online: “I feel so sorry for the people who have been injured and have lost their lives. I have lived here all my life and have seen that river rise quickly and be very powerful.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service said one patient was taken to hospital.

Four helicopters took part in the search operation along with police and firefighters dinghies.

Photos from the scene show emergency services searching the river on boats.

One witness said: “They recovered one body and a young woman was pulled out of the river and wasn’t looking too good. They were just below the weir when they were hit by a flash flood which came from nowhere.

“It was raining hard at the time and the river levels are quite high because of bad weather we’ve had this week.”

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The tragedy comes after a week of wet weather in which Honister Pass, Cumbria, had 110mm of rain in 48 hours and two month worth in a week. Some 40 properties were flooded.

The Environment Agency said on Friday there were eight flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected, and 51 alerts, meaning it remains likely.

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