Family tribute to woman who died after car rolled in River Fal
The family of a woman who drowned when the car she was in rolled into a river while waiting for a ferry, have spoken of the "enormous hole" left by her death.
Ann Pewter, 74, of Redmoor Close, Tavistock, was trapped in a car with her two dogs when it rolled off a slipway while she waited to board the King Harry Ferry to cross the River Fal, near Truro, in Cornwall on March 20. Her husband, 76, had stepped out of the burgundy Mazda, in which Mrs Pewter was a passenger, moments before it rolled past him and sunk 25ft, while the ferry was still on the other side of the river.
Despite a massive rescue effort, involving the fire service, police, coastguard, RNLI, a Rescue 193 helicopter from RNAS Culdrose in Helston, commercial divers and a local freediver, Mrs Pewter remained trapped in the car for almost two hours until it was recovered.
Her family said they were "still coming to terms with her loss".
"Ann and her husband had retired to this beautiful part of the country and had lived in Tavistock for a number of years," they said in a statement.
"Ann was a keen photographer. She was passionately interested in wildlife, animal welfare, gardens and the great outdoors generally.
"She had holidayed in Cornwall frequently and loved photographing its beautiful gardens and spectacular coast.
"Her loss, and that of her lovely dogs, has created an enormous hole in our lives that cannot be filled.
"We would like to thank everyone involved in the tragedy, who went above the call of duty in their attempts to save Ann and her dogs.
"We have no words to express our thanks to the diver for his selfless efforts and disregard of his own personal safety in attempting to recover the car.
"We would also like to thank many friends, neighbours and family whose exceptional kindness and support has been invaluable as we come to terms with our loss."
The King Harry Ferry, which has been operating since 1888, connects St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula with Feock, Truro and Falmouth. The service carries 300,000 cars every year, from Feock to Philleigh.
Last week, King Harry Ferry Ltd managing director Tim Light asked whether the presence of a locally based emergency dive team could have made a difference in the response.
An inquest was opened and adjourned in Truro yesterday.