A ‘hero’ dad who could not swim died after jumping into a river to save his stepdaughter, according to pals.
The man, named locally as Reza, dived into the River Erme in Ivybridge, Devon, to save the 19-month-old child on Tuesday evening, it is claimed.
Police and paramedics were called at around 8pm over reports of a man in difficulty in the river after trying to rescue a child struggling in the water.
He was later found and sadly pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics,.
The child was taken to hospital but no update was given on their condition.
Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed a 30-year-old man had died and that his next of kin had been informed.
Following the tragic incident, two fundraiser pages have been set up on behalf of the man’s family, raising more than £3,500 so far.
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.”
Donations from the fundraiser will be used to fly Reza home to Shiraz in Iran, PlymouthLive reports.
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.
”I am hoping that, as a community, we can come together to help a family in need by removing the financial pressure they have been put under and by supporting them in any way possible.
”Any donation big or small will help.”
Devon and Cornwall Police said: “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.”