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Wroxham deaths: No suspicious circumstances in deaths of man in his 60s and woman in her 50s on Broads boat

PUBLISHED: 14:57 10 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:43 10 June 2016

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

Police do not believe there to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths of a man and woman after their bodies were found on board a boat on the River Bure by Wroxham Broad on Thursday afternoon. The cruiser has now been moved.

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog  died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The bodies of the two people and a dog were discovered shortly after 4pm yesterday by emergency services after concerns were raised about the length of time the boat had been moored in one spot next to Wroxham Island.

When police stepped aboard the boat, they found the bodies of the man, in his 60s, and woman, in her 50s, as well as the dead dog. Police said the deaths are “unexplained”.

The boat was a small, white motor cruiser and is believed to be privately owned. It has been taken to a boat yard for further investigation.

The Marine Investigation Branch will be assessing the vessel today and officers will remain in the area as enquires by Norwich CID continue.

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police asked that the boat’s name and registration number were not revealed to avoid identifying the victims before their next-of-kin had been informed.

The coastguard sent four boats to the scene to help other emergency services.

A spokesman said: “About 4.15pm, East of England Ambulance Service asked the UK Coastguard for assistance at an incident outside Norfolk Broads Yacht Club at Wroxham.

“The ambulance service reported that two persons on board a white sports boat appeared unresponsive and they required support to secure the vessel so that they could provide medical assistance.”

Police, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice, fire and rescue, and the coastguard at the boat on Wroxham Island on the River Bure where two people and a dog have died. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Coastguard rescue teams from Happisburgh, Mundesley and Winterton were called in, as well as the Hemsby Broads rescue independent lifeboat.

The Hemsby boat was launched from a public car park next to the yacht club, from where investigators clad in orange suits could be seen aboard the vessel where the bodies were found.

Police cordoned off a stretch of river around Wroxham Island while the investigators were at work.

Holidaymakers in their own pleasure boats were forced to divert around the area and take another route around Wroxham Broad.

Seven fire engines were called to the scene, as well as a fire service surface rescue boat and its environmental health unit.

Roy Harold, Norfolk chief fire officer, said they had a “range of crews attending to help police and ambulance”.

A fire service spokesman said it was originally thought to have been a “hazardous materials incident”.

The East of England Ambulance Service attended with two crews and one officer.

Tom Garrod, a Norfolk county councillor for Wroxham, said that while the investigations into what happened were at an early stage, he would be looking to what the police found out to see if there were any “lessons to be learned” from the tragedy.

Mr Garrod said he wanted to pass on his condolences to the family of those involved.

•Anyone with information about the deaths should contact the police on 101 or, anonymously, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Previous Broads tragedy

The Norfolk Broads was also the scene of tragedy back in 2012 when the bodies of a man and a woman were recovered from the River Bure, close to Salhouse Broad.

The idyllic broads was thrust into the national media spotlight after the bodies of Annette Creegan, 49, a nurse, from Mitcham in Surrey and John Didier, 41, also from Mitcham, were recovered from the River Bure on Sunday, September 2 (2012).

They were found by divers brought in by police after Ms Creegan’s 13-year-old daughter was found alone aboard a hired pleasure cruiser, moored opposite the entrance to Salhouse Little Broad.

An inquest held in Norwich in January 2013 heard a Home Office post-mortem examination revealed Ms Creegan died as a result of strangulation while Mr Didier died as a result of drowning.

Ms Creegan, Mr Didier and the girl had left home for a holiday on the Norfolk Broads on August 25 2012.

They arrived at 4pm and went shopping before picking up their boat at 5pm.

At about 5.30pm on August 25 the boat was moored at Salhouse Little Broad where it remained.

The girl was discovered at about 5pm on Saturday, September 1, prompting a major search which resulted in the bodies being discovered the next day.

Ms Creegan, who was found naked, strangled and weighted down with a 30kg dumbbell, is believed to have been in the water a week before she was discovered at about 2pm on September 2.

The then Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said Mr Didier deliberately killed Ms Creegan and recorded a verdict of unlawful killing in respect of Ms Creegan.

Mr Armstrong said he was satisfied beyond “reasonable doubt” that Mr Didier, who had tied weights to his limbs before entering the water, died “as a result of his own actions” and recorded a verdict of suicide.

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