Firefighter killed in boat crash in Cleddau Estuary named

Police at Neyland Marina Image copyright Martin Cavaney/Athena Pictures
Image caption Dyfed-Powys Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch are investigating the fatal crash

A "truly lovely" firefighter killed after two boats collided during a training exercise has been named.

Josh Gardener, 35, died after the crash in the Cleddau Estuary, Pembrokeshire, on Tuesday at about 11:30 BST. He had joined the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service in November.

The "devoted" father-of-two was described as a "little guy with a big heart" and "an outstanding friend".

The service said its "sympathy and thoughts" were with his loved ones.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch and police are investigating the cause of the incident.

The fire service said the welfare of its crews was "paramount" and added it was ensuring "appropriate support is in place for all those involved".

A GoFundMe fundraising page set up for Mr Gardener said being a firefighter was "a job he always wanted to do, and loved to the fullest, in the same way he lived the rest of his life".

The Fire Brigades Union said it would be investigating the incident to ensure "lessons are learnt".

"No worker should ever die whilst fulfilling their role," it added.

"We will be investigating the causes and circumstances of this death to ensure that lessons are learnt."

A Coastguard spokesman said it was asked to assist "following a report that two fire rescue vessels had collided while on exercise near Neyland in the Milford Haven area".

Dyfed-Powys Police is appealing for anyone with information about the incident between Lawrenny and Neyland to come forward.

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