Family thanks team for rescue bid

THE family of a north Lancashire teacher who was pulled from a raging Ambleside river have thanked the emergency services for their rescue efforts.

Simon Martindale, 48, of Hest Bank, was swept away by the fast-moving water of the River Rothay on December 23.

A multi-agency search, which included the police, fire crews, ambulance service, lake wardens, the coastguard, RAF and Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, was launched, but Mr Martindale was found dead in the water after an hour.

His father Donald, also of Hest Bank, said: “Following Simon’s tragic death his family would like to express their thanks and gratitude to all members of the emergency services who helped to recover him so quickly. They were absolutely marvellous.”

Mr Martindale, who also leaves behind mum Delia, brother Neil, wife Rachel and 11-year-old son James, was a science teacher at Morecambe High School. He loved the Lake District and was a regular visitor to the area.

It was initially believed that Mr Martindale had entered the river to save his dog, which managed to get out of the water.

But his dad said: “He had been to the garden centre with Rachel and while she shopped he went to walk the dog. He was a level-headed chap so I cannot believe he would have jumped into a swollen river to rescue the dog.

“The only thing I can think of is that he reached down for the dog and slipped down the bank.”

He added that his son would be missed by all.

“We have even had a lot of his pupils in contact to express their sorrow,” he said.

A funeral service will be held for Mr Martindale at St Luke’s Parish Church, Slyne, on January 8, 11am.

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