Louise Owen dies in Rhode Island as car plunges into harbour

The red car is lifted out of the water
Image caption The red car is lifted out of the water by a crane

A woman from Powys was among three people found dead in a submerged car at a shipyard in Rhode Island, USA.

Louise Owen, 39, originally from Llanbrynmair, was found in the car with two friends who all worked on luxury yachts in Newport Harbour.

The car was found sticking out of about 4ft of water early on Friday morning.

Police believe that the driver missed a turn in foggy conditions and the car had been in the water for several hours before it was discovered.

Authorities identified the other women as Jennifer Way of North Kingstown, Rhode Island and Femmetje Staring from the Netherlands. All three were 39.

'Highly respected'

Peter Wilson, co-founder and co-owner of Newport-based MCM, which represents yacht owners, said the three women became close friends while working in the yachting industry.

He told the Provincial Journal Ms Owen had been working on the luxury super-yacht Hyperion and described all three as "astonishing, bright, delightful women".

"The global yachting community is small, and news such as this travels fast," he said.

"As a result, emails and messages of condolence have been flooding in from every corner of the world. All three women were highly respected in their fields and enormously well-liked. We will miss them all terribly."

Mr Wilson added: "Losing any one of these remarkable women would be sad enough, but to lose all three as a result of this one heartbreaking accident causes devastation of immense proportions."

He also said the car that went into the water belonged to Ms Way.

The police department in Newport, Rhode Island confirmed the names of the women and said: "The investigation continues - however there is no indication of foul play".

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said: "We are looking into reports of the death of a British national on Rhode Island on 5 October and we stand ready to provide consular assistance to the next of kin."

Ms Owen, from Llanbrynmair, had previously worked for Young Farmers Club Wales for four years.

The organisation held a minute's silence in her memory on Sunday at a council meeting.

Lisa Jones, senior development officer, who worked with Ms Owen, said: "Everyone is just shocked."

Image caption A crane lifts a car from the water in Newport, Rhode Island