Heroic father, 86, dies trying to rescue disabled daughter from canal

4 September 2021, 08:31 | Updated: 4 September 2021, 13:31

Lawrence Casey pictured with his daughter Jessica
Lawrence Casey pictured with his daughter Jessica. Picture: Family handout
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A heroic 86-year-old father has died while trying to rescue his disabled daughter from Bude Canal in north Cornwall.

Lawrence Casey went into the body of water after his daughter Jessica, believed to be in her 20s, lost control of her mobility scooter.

Members of the public also followed him into the canal to help pull the woman out, however Mr Casey was pronounced dead at the scene following the ordeal on Wednesday afternoon.

His family expressed their shock at his death but thanked all those who offered support during the tragedy.

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File photo of Bude Canal in north Cornwall
File photo of Bude Canal in north Cornwall. Picture: Alamy

They said: "We are deeply shocked of course but I am so incredibly heartened by those who helped."

"My family and I would like to express our deep gratitude for all those involved," his family added.

"He was devoted to the care of his disabled daughter and his final act of love as a father was to sacrifice his life to save hers," they told the BBC.

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Several members of the public tried to help when the woman fell in the canal
Several members of the public tried to help when the woman fell in the canal. Picture: Alamy

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman said: "Emergency services were called at 5:20pm to Bude Canal following reports of concern for the welfare of two people in the water.

"A woman in her 20s pulled from the water by members of the public and was taken to hospital by land ambulance.

"A man in his 80s was confirmed deceased at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner."

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