Life might be returning to normal on the idyllic waterways of the Norfolk Broads following the discovery of two bodies in the water and a girl left alone on a boat, but the shocking events will not be forgotten in a hurry.

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The nation’s media descended on the Broads after details of the story began to break on Sunday, September 2.

The discovery of a teenage girl found alone on a pleasure cruiser that was tied to a tree at Salhouse Little Broad just after 5pm on Saturday, September 1 sparked an extensive search.

And by the following afternoon, divers called in by police had recovered the bodies of a man, who has since been identified as John Didier, 41, from Mitcham in Surrey and a woman, 49, also from Mitcham in Surrey. The bodies were recovered from the River Bure.

The exact details of what happened during that tragic boating holiday on the Broads might never be known, but police have confirmed they are treating the deaths as a “domestic incident”.

Post-mortem examinations have revealed the woman died as a result of strangulation, while Mr Didier is believed to have drowned.

The girl, who was taken into protective custody by police, is now being supported by relatives following her ordeal.

A spokesman for Horning-based Le Boat, the company the couple had hired the cruiser, Admiral, from, said: “First and foremost our thoughts are really with the young girl and the family. It’s a horrible, distressing thing to have happened. Certainly everyone was a bit shocked by it. We’re still coming to terms with it and our thoughts are with the family.

“On 99pc of boating holidays everyone has a wonderful time. It was a tragic incident that, as far as we’re aware, was a domestic incident that could’ve happened anywhere and it should not affect holidaymakers.

“Norfolk is a wonderful place and has so much to offer on the Broads and hopefully it doesn’t affect people’s decision to come and visit a wonderful area.”

Adrian Vernon, pictured, the Broads Authority’s head ranger, insisted the tragedy had not put people off visiting the Broads, but admitted the girl was still uppermost in people’s thoughts.

He said: “People are still very much thinking of the little girl who was left on the boat and hoping she is recovering from the incident. But the rivers were as busy as ever last week with new people starting their holidays and lots of people have been encouraged onto the Broads by the good weather.

“Coltishall had its best day on Sunday for day boats and trip boats were out on Wroxham Broad.”

A Broads worker, who did not want to be named, said everything was now back to normal following the tragedy, although he admitted it was still a big topic of conversation for people in the area.

He said: “People are still coming up and asking questions.

“There’s still lots of people talking about how it happened and all these different things. It’s still a big thing.”

The worker said thoughts were with the girl, but he admitted there was also a sense of life now being back to normal following the incident.

He said: “At the end of the day it hasn’t disrupted the holiday and tourist industry down there.

“If anything it’s a bit more busy now.”

Barbara Greasley, chairman of Broads Tourism and director of the Norfolk Broads Direct hire boat yard in Wroxham, yesterday reiterated a statement she issued in the aftermath of the tragedy.

She said: “All of us on the Broads are in shock over the tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and and friends of those concerned.

“As a tourism body, we would like to emphasise how rare these events are and we’re confident it will not have any effect on our tourism offer.”




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