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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Warning over rescuing pets after man drowns

A coroner has warned dog owners not to follow their pets into water following the death of a man.

The body of 48-year-old Simon Martindale was found in Windermere on December 23 shortly after he was spotted being swept away by the River Rothay – just a metre behind his labrador.

Now, Ian Smith, coroner for south and east Cumbria, has urged people not to attempt to rescue animals that find themselves in fast flowing currents.

“People react very quickly when their animals go into water and sometimes do so without thinking,” he said. “As a general statement, if a dog goes into the water, let it find its own way to salvation.”

An inquest into the death of Mr Martindale was held at County Hall in Kendal.

The court heard that while no-one had seen the school teacher enter the water at Stock Ghyll in Ambleside, it was believed he may have been attempting to rescue his dog.

Walkers had subsequently heard him shouting for help as he was washed along the River Rothay in water temperatures as low as seven degrees celsius.

After a widescale search operation Mr Martindale’s body was found in the lake – some 300 metres from the mouth of the river – at 3.45pm.

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