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Girl and Father Died

Date
20/07/2009
What Happened
Body recovered
What Caused
Human factor
Casualty type/Qty
Casualty
Gender
Male
Causal Factors
Accident suspected
Injury Details
Death-confirmed
Outcome
Accident suspected
Alcohol/Drugs
N/A

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Description of Incident
A THREE-year-old girl and her father died after plunging 50ft into freezing waters in front of the girl’s mother at a Gwynedd waterfall.

The pair, who were on a family camping holiday, fell into a deep pool at the Cwm Nantcol Falls, near Llanbedr, Harlech, after apparently wandering from a footpath. It is understood the 35-year-old dad from Manchester was holding his daughter when he lost his footing on rocks close to the waterfall on Saturday at 4pm.

They plummeted into the fast flowing Afon Cwmnantcol. Aled Morgan Jones, owner of the Nantcol Waterfalls campsite, said: “I heard screams from other visitors and we thought someone was in the water and we raced up to the falls.

“Witnesses showed us where they had fallen from, which was the highest point of cliff by the waterfall. The falls drop into deep narrow pools and I knew they didn’t have a chance. We tried to find them in the water but could not see them.

“It is a terrible accident and shaken us to the core. The mother was utterly distraught and had to be taken from the scene.” The fall sparked a major rescue operation by police, firefighters, trained divers, coastguards and a RAF Valley Squadron 22 helicopter.

Local divers Richard Workman, 30, and James Hordley, 21, who are cousins, helped police in the rescue and found the bodies in the pool two hours after the alert was raised. Mr Workman said: “We saw the rescue helicopter in the air and knew something serious was happening. “We offered our assistance to police. “We are both recreational divers and as police dive teams were not yet on scene we offered to dive.” The pair recovered the bodies from the pool at the foot of the waterfall.

Mr Workman, who manages the nearby Shell Island campsite, where the family were staying, said: “We have been diving for two years and this is not the type of dive we ever wanted to go on. This will stay with us for the rest of our lives. “It is tragic.” The Shell Island staff put their flags at half mast as they thanked all the rescue services for their efforts to save the father and daughter and said it was a “tragedy”. Coastguard teams and an inshore RNLI lifeboat from Harlech and Criccieth were also involved in the operation in case the victims had been swept down river and into the sea.

Alyn Edwards, of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This tragic incident highlights the dangers of swimming in unknown waters and venturing in the locality of open water. “We would ask everyone to take extra care when near any water,” Mr Edwards said. North Wales Police said it had launched a joint investigation Gwynedd County Council into the tragic incident.

The Health and Safety Executive has also been made aware and enquiries were ongoing.
Supporting Information
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2009/07/20/dad-and-daughted-drown-at-north-wales-waterfall-55578-24191998/

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