Great Britain

‘Hero’ dad dies after jumping into Devon river to save stepdaughter from drowning

A 'HERO' dad who couldn't swim died after he jumped into a river to save his stepdaughter, say friends.

The man, named locally as Reza, dived into the River Erme in Ivybridge, Devon, to save the 19-month-old during this week's heatwave.

But after getting into trouble himself he later died on Tuesday.

Police said later the child was uninjured.

The tragedy came as the UK swelters in scorching heat with Brits warned of the "extreme dangers" of swimming in open water.

Cold water can cause hyperventilation or lead to seizures, police have cautioned.

A police spokesman said: “Police were called at around 7.10pm yesterday evening, Tuesday 15 June, with a report of concern for a man by the River Erme, near Station Road, Ivybridge.

“It was reported that he went into the water to help a child in difficulty.

“Emergency services attended. Sadly a man was declared deceased at the scene. His next-of-kin are aware.


"His death is not being treated as suspicious and a file is being prepared for the coroner.”

The child was taken to hospital, but no update has been given on her condition.

Two fundraiser pages have been set up in memory of Reza and to help his family.

One of the fundraisers states: "Reza's step daughter got into some difficulty in the River Erme, located in Long Timber Woods, Ivybridge.

"Being the hero Reza was, he jumped in and saved her, but unfortunately was unable to save himself as he was a non-swimmer.

"This goes to show how selfless Reza was, and he showed this every day. He leaves behind his girlfriend and 19 month old little girl, as well as lots of friends and colleagues who all saw him as family."

PlymouthLive reported that the money raised will be used to fly Reza's body back home to Shiraz in Iran.

This goes to show how selfless Reza was, and he showed this every day. He leaves behind his girlfriend and 19 month old little girl, as well as lots of friends and colleagues who all saw him as family.

Friends of Reza

The other GoFundMe page says: ''I am setting up this GoFund me on behalf of Kaylie McGrath who tragically lost her soulmate Reza yesterday when he heroically jumped into the river to save their daughter.

''Kaylie is in desperate need to raise funds to send Reza to his home country.

''Reza was a kind person who always put his partner and three beautiful daughters first and deserves a send-off that reflects this and his immensely heroic act.

Meanwhile, a 22-year-old man was pronounced dead in Ipswich, Suffolk today after his body was pulled from the River Orwell.

Clothes was found on the Orwell Bridge, but police couldn't trace their owen.

A multi-agency search was launched with police, paramedics, Suffolk Fire and Rescue and the coastguard scrambled.

The man's man was recovered from the river shortly after 7:40am, with his death not being treated as suspicious, police said.


Meanwhile, the body of a 27-year-old man was recovered from Ponden Reservoir, near Haworth, West Yorkshire yesterday.

Police were called 5.45pm to reports of someone in difficulty in the water.

A full emergency services response was launched with the National Police Air Service and police divers joining in the search.

Divers recovered the body of a 27-year-old man from the water at 10pm.

He was from outside the West Yorkshire area, it's reported.

This month's heatwave has this week seen the mercury hit 28.6C on the hottest day of the year so far,

And with more blazing heat on the way Brits warned against taking a dip to cool off.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Farrell, of Bradford District Police said this morning: "We are continuing to investigate today following a major search at the reservoir last night which sadly resulted in divers recovering the body of a man.

"This has been a tragic incident in which a man has lost his life and I would like to remind all residents in and visitors to West Yorkshire of the extreme dangers posed by swimming in or entering open water not designated for such use.

"Such water can be very cold, even in the summer months, and people suddenly entering cold water are susceptible to hyperventilation, which could result in the body going into seizure."

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