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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Girl, nine, dies in canoe capsize
The River Wye where the incident happened
Rescuers had to use a boat to reach the girl
A nine-year-old girl has died after her canoe capsized on a river in mid Wales during a family holiday.

The girl was airlifted to hospital after being pulled from the river Wye near the village of Glasbury, a few miles from Hay-on-Wye in Powys.

Two family members, an adult and another child, were with the girl when the accident happened on Wednesday.

They were also treated in hospital for hypothermia. All three had buoyancy aids, say police.

The group set off at around 1500 BST on Wednesday but about an hour into the journey, they got into difficulties and the canoe capsized.

The girl went into the water about an hour later and it was only after several frantic attempts by family members and police officers to rescue her that she surfaced. A boat had to be used to reach her.

This is known as a particularly benign piece of river... it's used a great deal by people who are learning to canoe
Councillor James Gibson Watt

She was airlifted to hospital in Hereford where she was later pronounced dead. The adult and child were taken to Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny suffering from hypothermia.

Police said all three were known to have had buoyancy aids with them.

But it is unclear how experienced they were on the water or whether they were being supervised.

Police at Brecon are investigating the accident and the coroner has been informed.

Later Dyfed-Powys Police cordoned off the area of the river bank where the incident happened.

Outdoor pursuit centres

Powys councillor James Gibson Watt said he felt "extreme sadness" that what had "started as a fun family day out ended in such tragedy".

He told BBC Radio Wales he had never heard of a tragedy like this on the river.

"This is known as a particularly benign piece of river. In fact it's used a great deal by people who are learning to canoe.

"A lot of outdoor pursuits centres in the area use it to teach young people how to canoe - so this event has come as an enormous surprise."

"Thousands of people use this stretch of river every year because it is so suitable for this type of activity," Mr Gibson Watt added.

Police van at the scene
Police cordoned off an area of the river bank

Holidaymakers David and Alison Koerper from London, who are staying on a campsite on the river Wye, were returning from an afternoon walk when they heard the emergency sirens.

Mr Koerper told the BBC Wales news website: "There were two helicopters and two ambulances. I think one was the helicopter ambulance.

"They were on fields on both sides of the river. I suppose they wanted to get to them from both sides."

Holidaymakers John and Debbie Williams from Horsham, West Sussex, were driving from Hay-on-Wye towards Glasbury at the time of the incident.

Mr Williams said: "We saw the helicopter as it was going along the river. Then a fire engine pulled out of a side road."

"A fun family day out ended in such tragedy"



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