Police have confirmed that they have recovered the bodies of two people during a large-scale search of Roadford Lake, near Okehampton, after a boat capsized yesterday (June 8).

Sources have revealed that the two people who went missing from the group of six believed to be out on a fishing trip, were strapped into their wheelchairs.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), which is investigating the tragedy, confirmed yesterday that the vessel was carrying six occupants, four had been rescued but two disabled persons still remain unaccounted for.

A major operation using specialist equipment and resources including drones continued today (June 9).

Formal identification is yet to take place but the families of the two missing people have been informed of the development and are being supported by specially-trained officers.

Chief Superintendent Dan Evans said: ‘This is an extremely distressing incident and our thoughts are with all of those involved and their loved ones, who we are working closely with to offer help and support wherever we can.

‘Every effort has been made to locate the two people who remained unaccounted for as fast as possible.

‘Tragically, we can confirm that the bodies of two people were located and recovered this afternoon.

‘Our priority is to support their families.’

A large-scale response from emergency services was launched at around 1.30pm on Wednesday (June 8) involving police, fire and ambulance services, the air ambulance, HM Coastguard and search and rescue teams.

Two people were removed from the water and taken to Derriford Hospital for treatment. One person has since been discharged and one person remains in hospital in a critical condition.

Two other people were removed from the water at that time and checked by ambulance teams before being discharged at the scene.

No other boats were involved in the incident. The occupants were all believed to be local to Devon.

Police have not disclosed what sort of boat it was or whether the group were wearing life jackets and it is unclear whether the strong winds may have capsized the boat.

South West Lake Trust, which operates Roadford Lake, the largest area of fresh water in the South West, says on its website: ‘We aim to provide social inclusion and accessibility for all. We want more people to engage with the outdoors and have fun, irrespective of ability, age and background.’

Among its boats are special ‘wheelyboats’ which are accessible to less able visitors.

A police spokesman said: ‘The lake will remain closed for public access for the forseeable future and localised road closures remain in place at the activity centre to allow access to the relevant emergency services.’