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‘Hero’ father died after jumping into Devon river to save 19-month-old stepdaughter from drowning

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‘Hero’ father died after jumping into Devon river to save his 19-month-old stepdaughter from drowning on the hottest day of the year

  • The man, named locally as Reza, was with his family at River Erme on Tuesday
  • After jumping in to save his young stepdaughter, he got into difficulty himself
  • Sadly, despite the efforts of the emergency services, he was pronounced dead 

A ‘hero’ father has died after attempting to rescue his 19-month-old stepdaughter who was struggling in a river.

Britain baked in temperatures of up to 84F on Tuesday which meant families across the country were enjoying the sunny weather on the hottest day of the year so far. 

The man, named locally as Reza, was with his family near the River Erme, in Iveybridge, Devon, when he dived into the water to help the child who had got into difficulty while swimming.

But Reza then got into difficulty himself and, despite the efforts of emergency medics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man, named locally as Reza, has lost his life after jumping into a river to save his 19-month-old stepdaughter who was struggling. Pictured: Reza with his partner Kaylie McGrath

Reza was with family enjoying the hottest day of the year at the River Erme in Devon (file photo)

Reza was with family enjoying the hottest day of the year at the River Erme in Devon (file photo)

The child is thought to have been uninjured but was taken to hospital for examination. Her condition is unknown.

Tributes paid to Reza have described him as a hero and selfless man who always put others first.

In the wake of his death, fundraising pages have been set up to support his family.

On the first page, organiser Daisy Cooper said: ‘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.’

Ms Cooper says funds will be used for a memorial service and to fly Reza back to his home country of Iran so he can be laid to rest in the presence of the rest of his family.

Pictured: Reza, who is originally from Iran, was described as a hero who always put others first

Pictured: Reza, who is originally from Iran, was described as a hero who always put others first

A second fundraiser has been set up by Heidi Moissard who said: ‘Reza was a kind person and deserves a send off that reflects this and his immensely heroic act.’

More than £5,000 has been raised so far. 

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesperson 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.’ 

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