Family of 'devoted couple' who died at Ystradfellte waterfalls speak of 'immeasurable loss'

Rachael and Helen Patching were reported missing from a popular waterfall walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park on Wednesday 4 January. Credit: Dyfed-Powys Police/Family photo

A "devoted couple" who died at a waterfall walk in the Brecon Beacons National Park have been described by family members as having "an immensely positive impact on all those they met".

Rachael Patching, 33, and Helen Patching, 52, who are from Kent in England, were reported missing on Wednesday 4 January while on holiday in Wales.

The pair were at Ystradfellte Falls in Powys, known as the Four Waterfalls Walk, a popular route with tourists.

After a search effort involving police, the fire service and mountain rescue, their bodies were recovered from the water in the following days.

Their families have issued a joint statement paying tribute to the couple and thanking those who tried to go to their aid.

It reads: “We are devastated to have suffered such an immeasurable loss following the news of Rachael and Helen’s passing at just 33 and 52.

“They were such a devoted, selfless, and loving couple having had an immensely positive impact on all those they met.

“Their love for animals and dedication to caring for them so lovingly over the years made them a truly admirable credit to themselves and society.

“Their endless laughter will be forever remembered by all who had the honour to know them.

“There are no words that can express enough how highly they were both thought of by family members, friends, and colleagues."

The Four Waterfalls Walk is a popular route with visitors to the Brecon Beacons National Park. Credit: Media Wales

The statement added: “We would like to thank all those who have provided such generous support and guidance, including the unwavering commitment of the Brecon Beacons Mountain Rescue volunteers, the police, National Police Air Support, Mid and West Wales Fire Service, National Resource Wales, the Welsh Ambulance Service and Powys County Council for helping so selflessly at such a difficult time.

“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy in which to do so.”

The search ended on Sunday 8 January after a second body was found in a river in the Glynneath area.