Woman who died at King Harry Ferry slip tragedy is named
The woman killed when a car rolled down the ferry slipway at the River Fal in Falmouth has today been named as Ann Pewter aged 74 from Tavistock.
Mrs Pewter and two dogs were trapped in the car when it rolled down the slipway, bumped a car out of the way and entered the water at the deep estuary in Cornwall.
The driver, a man in his 70s, had steopped out of the car to take pictures while waiting for the ferry to return from the other side of the river.
The car was under water for about two hours after rolling in at 4.05pm on Wednesday at the slipway for the King Harry Ferry.
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Police Inspector Richard Hockin, critical incident manager, said from the scene: "It would appear to be an unfortunate accident where the vehicle has rolled forward and gone into the water with a female passenger inside who is now deceased."
The car, a purple people carrier, was driven to the approach of the King Harry Ferry by the woman's husband, also in his seventies.
The car was recovered from the water, however the woman passenger was pronounced dead at the scene along with two dogs also trapped in the car.
The driver was not in the vehicle at the time of the car entering the water and was unharmed.
A local mussel diver carried out numerous attempts to rescue the woman.
Matt Vernon was in the area and staff from the King Harry Ferry pointed out where the car had gone in.
Mr Vernon told the West Briton: "The car was at least 25ft underwater. It was impossible to try and smash a window.
"I got round to the front of the car and found the passenger window was wide open and the car was filled with water.
"I still tried as there was still a chance of getting somebody out and reviving them."
Diving without oxygen, Mr Vernon had to resurface to take a breath before going back down to the car.
He said the water was very murky and visibility extremely poor.
He attempted to attach a grappling hook to the car but it was not strong enough to take the weight.
At that point divers from the coastguard were on the scene and managed to winch the car back onto the shore where it was covered with a tarpaulin.
Police said the dead woman was immediately flown to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.
A map of the scene of the incident:
View Woman dies in tragedy at King Harry Ferry site in a larger map
The channel, called the Carrick Roads, stretches from Falmouth to Truro and is famous for its size and depth.
It has the third largest natural harbour in the world at its mouth, and in parts depths reach up to 34 meters.
The King Harry Ferry website has released the following statement: "Our thoughts are with everyone involved after a car came off the Roseland slipway side of the King Harry Ferry."
The ferry connects St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula with Feock, Truro and Falmouth and is one of only five chain ferries in England.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information and especially those in vehicles that were present at the time of the incident. Any witnesses should ring Devon and Cornwall police on 101 quoting log number 456 20/03/13.