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Ex-soldier and two paddleboarders die after he tries to rescue them


Ex-soldier and two paddleboarders die after he tries to rescue them

A father of three died after trying to save two struggling paddleboarders in south-west Wales on Saturday, in an “absolutely heartbreaking” incident.

Paul O’Dwyer died along with two female paddleboarders he was trying to help. A third woman was reported to be in a critical condition.

O’Dwyer, 42, a former soldier, jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue two women in distress, but was later pronounced dead on the banks of the River Cleddau in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

“Paul put his own life on the line yesterday to make sure others were safe,” said a spokesperson for Aberavon Green Stars RFC, a rugby club O’Dwyer belonged to.

The club paid tribute to O’Dwyer’s “infectious smile” and upbeat character, describing him as an “avid adventurer, whether he would be paddleboarding, surfing, skiing, walking or climbing, nothing was too small for Paul to achieve”.

A group of nine paddleboarders were exploring the river on a weekend excursion when they got into difficulty near a weir. Dyfed-Powys police said they received reports of persons in distress shortly after 9am on Saturday.

Emergency services – including 30 firefighters, the coastguard, RNLI and police helicopters – arrived at the scene and five people were rescued without injury.

But O’Dwyer and two women lost their lives and another woman was being treated in intensive care at a local hospital on Sunday.

O’Dwyer died “attempting to save two of the girls also in distress due to an unexpected downpour”, said Vickie Mckinven, who was on the trip but pulled out of the morning paddleboard over weather concerns.

It is “absolutely heartbreaking”, Mckinven said, adding that O’Dwyer “did so much to raise money for charities”.

O’Dwyer cofounded charity SA1UTE, which supports veterans in south Wales, and previously was a soldier with the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers 108 Welsh Squadron militia.

“He was relentless in his drive for raising money for charity,” SA1UTE said in a tribute to O’Dwyer, adding: “We have lost a friend that gave so much of his life to help others. It still hasn’t sunk in, that these tragic events have taken away someone in the prime of their life.

“Paul had a real zest for life and always took things head on with a smile on his face.”

O’Dwyer helped raise more than £4,000 for charity in recent weeks by paddling down the River Wye in 24 hours, navigating the 100 miles from Glasbury to Tintern Abbey. He also organised an event in September that raised more than £2,000 for the RNLI and a local lifeguard club.

Dyfed-Powys police said the victims’ next of kin were being supported by specialist officers.

DCI Jonathan Rees said police were investigating what provoked the tragedy, and called on the public to report any information or submit potential video footage.

“At this stage, my thoughts and the thoughts of my colleagues are with the family of those who lost loved ones, and of the injured person who remains in hospital,” DCI Rees said.

DCI Rees urged the public – with paddleboarding growing in popularity – to “ensure they understand the weather conditions and water conditions at a particular location where they may be enjoying that sport”.

Salty Dog Co, a watersports clothing shop based in Port Talbot that was involved in the excursion, paid tribute to O’Dwyer.

“It is with heavy heart that we say goodbye to our salty dog Paul,” Salty Dog tweeted on Saturday.

“A lovely human being taken too soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with your friends and family. You will be missed greatly.”

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24yr- old man arrested for being in possession of fake Naira notes

Police Operatives serving in Abakaliki (AI) Road Police Division of the Enugu State Command on April 10 arrested one Mmaduabuchi Okonkwo, 24, of Mkpologu, Emene, Enugu, at the Old IMT Bus Stop, Abakaliki Road, Enugu.

The suspect’s arrest is the sequel to his alleged possession and transaction of counterfeited Naira notes. A total of forty thousand Naira (₦40,000.00) suspected counterfeited one thousand denominated Naira notes were recovered from him.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect boarded a minibus from New Haven Junction to Old IMT Bus Stop, Enugu, and gave the driver one of the counterfeited notes.

The driver, however, scrutinized and observed that the currency was fake, thereby raising an alarm that led to the suspect’s arrest.

Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to having paid the sum of twenty-five thousand (₦25,000.00) genuine Naira notes to his cohort at large for the counterfeited Naira notes worth fifty thousand Naira (₦50,000.00)

He further confessed to having spent ten thousand Naira (₦10,000.00) out of the fake notes, remaining the forty thousand Naira (₦40,000.00) that was recovered from him.

Confirming his arrest, the spokesperson of the command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, says the suspect will be arraigned and prosecuted once investigations are concluded.

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Niger Govt arrests over 30 illegal miners

Oyo Govt To Clampdown

The Niger State Ministry for Minerals Resources has disclosed the arrest of over 30 illegal miners at various locations, despite the ban on illegal mining in the state.

It also debunked the alleged killing of one person at an illegal mining site in Minna during a clash between restive youth groups last Friday.

The state Commissioner for Minerals Resources, Garba Yahaya Sabo, said the arrests were made from January to date across various mining sites in the state.

He explained that the Ministry has been given the mandate to protect, arrest and stop all illegal mining activities by miners, adding that those interested in mining must register with the state government so as to create employment as well as boost revenue generation.

Sabo, who lamented the lack of adequate manpower to help monitor activities of the illegal miners at mining sites, however, said desk officers will be stationed to keep an eye on mining locations across the 25 LGAs in order to keep the Ministry abreast with every development in the sector.

“Many of these illegal miners are criminals and their activities can pose serious security threat to the people of the state.

“Whenever, we chase them out of the mining sites during the day, these illegal miners usually gather again during the night under the pretense of mining gold and during such periods, launch out to commit various crimes in the state,” he revealed.

The commissioner also denied reports that a youth was killed at Maitumbi illegal mining site along Julius Berger Quarry site.

According to him, “The incident did not actually happen at the illegal mining site, but opposite the site at night. Nobody was killed during the youth clash on Friday there.

“The report in its entirety is fake, malicious and has no link to mining activity. It was designed to just tarnish the image of the Ministry.”

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NDLEA destroys 304,436kg, 40, 042 litres of illicit drugs seized in Lagos, Ogun

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, on Tuesday 16th April 2024 destroyed a total of 304,436kg kilograms and 40,042 litres of illicit substances seized from parts of Lagos and Ogun states.

Speaking at a brief ceremony where the seized drugs were publicly destroyed in Badagry Lagos, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the open destruction of the seized illicit drugs followed court orders, even as he called for more public support for ongoing efforts by NDLEA and other stakeholders to curb the menace of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

“Though a routine exercise and an established process of removing dangerous substances from our society, the public destruction of confiscated illicit drugs is usually conducted at the end of their related cases in court”, the NDLEA boss stated adding that the exhibits being destroyed were of mixed types, “which include illicit drugs in solid and liquid states as well as in various classes such as cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and tramadol, among others.”

He said the drugs were seized by NDLEA operatives across different formations of the Agency in Lagos and Ogun states from January 2022 till date especially at the Lagos seaports, airports, and land borders.

“To be destroyed here today on the order of the court are solid drugs, weighing 304,436.055kg and 40, 042. 621 litres of liquid drugs. The sheer volume of the drug haul speaks volumes about the extent of the nefarious activities of the drug underworld.”

He expressed appreciation to traditional rulers, heads of security agencies, the clergy, members of NGOs and CSOs as well as other stakeholders who witnessed the ceremony.

“The destruction of these seizures complies with the NDLEA Act, which mandates the Agency to destroy all drug exhibits after prosecution. We want to say that your presence here is a testament to this important occasion. To this end, we appreciate all stakeholders and members of the public for witnessing this exercise”, he added.

He seized the opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Agency’s local and international partners, “especially the American Drug Enforcement Administration (US-DEA); United Kingdom NCA, Border Force; the Germans, the French; Indian NCB, among others who had worked with us on a number of busts. Similarly, we appreciate the Nigerian military and other law enforcement agencies such as the Customs; Immigration; Police; Civil Defence; FRSC; NFIU,NAFDAC and others that have been supporting our efforts to rid Nigeria of illicit drugs.”
While assuring that NDLEA will not relent in its effort to end the drug scourge in the country, Marwa called for more public support for the activities of the Agency. “The safety of our society is the responsibility of every one of us. Every citizen shall be fulfilling his or her civic duty by assisting the Agency’s War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) campaign to clean up our communities and cities. Together, we can make this country secure”, he added.

Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu represented by Chairman, Badagry West Local Government, Mr. Olusegun Onilude expressed satisfaction with the efforts of NDLEA to tackle the scourge of illicit drugs in the country.

“Almost all crimes and criminalities are fueled by illicit drugs, so the Lagos state government appreciates NDLEA and its leadership in their resolute fight against illicit drugs.

“The volume of illicit drugs being destroyed here today speak volume and every right-thinking person should be worried”, he stated.

He also thanked the Agency for taking the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) social advocacy campaign to schools and communities across Lagos State. “No doubt, NDLEA is working, and the state will continue to collaborate with the Agency and its leadership”, he assured.

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