Investigations continue into ferry slipway tragedy

Investigations continue into ferry slipway tragedy

Investigations continue into ferry slipway tragedy

First published in News

Investigations are continuing into how a car carrying an elderly lady and her two dogs ended up submerged in the River Fal on Thursday.

Read: Tragedy at King Harry Ferry: RNLI detail actions to rescue woman

Ann Pewter, 74 and from Tavistock in Devon, is believed to have drowned after her car rolled into the icy water from the Philleigh side of the King Harry slipway at about 4pm.

It is understood the driver of the car, thought to be Mrs Pewter's husband, had got out of the vehicle to take photographs and it then rolled down the slipway, bumped into another car before plunging into the water.

Falmouth's inshore and offshore lifeboats were sent to the scene, along with Falmouth and Portscatho Coastguard rescue teams, a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, the pilot cutter LK Mitchell, harbour launches and personnel from the fire brigade, police and ambulance service.

Diver Matt Vernon was the first to reach the submerged car, but after several unsuccessful attempts to locate Mrs Pewter and attach a line to the car, commercial divers who had been brought to the scene by the MTS Valonia, did manage to secure a line to the vehicle.

Shortly after 6pm, the fire brigade managed to winch the vehicle from the depths of the river and pull it back onto the slipway. It is understood that Mrs Pewter's body was recovered from the back of the car.

At the time of the tragedy, the King Harry Ferry had been on the opposite side of the river at Feock. A spokesman for the ferry company said: “Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the friends and family of everyone involved in this tragedy.”

This sentiment was echoed by the RNLI who said: “The thoughts of the lifeboat crew are with the family and friends of all those involved with this tragedy.”

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have information which will shed light onto what actually happened to come forward. They especially want to hear from people in vehicles that were present at the time of the accident. Any witnesses should call the police on 101, quoting log number 456 20/03/13.

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