Hero dad drowned while saving disabled daughter's life after she lost control of mobility scooter & fell into canal | The SunJuly 19, 2022
A HERO dad tragically drowned while saving his disabled daughter's life after she lost control of her mobility scooter and fell into a canal.
Lawrence Casey, 86, was pulled from the water by a bystander – moments after his daughter Jessica, 27, was rescued.
The fearless former RAF serviceman jumped into Bude Canal in Cornwall when his daughter – who has cerebral palsy – lost control of the scooter on September 1 last year.
He was pulled from the water by passers-by, but tragically could not be saved.
Dad-of-nine Lawrence's family described the selfless act as his "final act of love".
In a statement, they said: "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.
"We extend our sincere gratitude to members of the public who also selflessly helped in the saving of her life."
After noticing the dad and daughter in the water, a passing jogger alerted two nearby fishermen who pulled Lawrence out.
A paddle board instructor – who had heard the commotion – dived in to save Jessica before starting CPR on her unconscious father.
An air ambulance rushed to the scene but Lawrence could not be saved.
Her mum Ruth Casey told the inquest her estranged husband and daughter often went out for walks together.
"On the day in question I have been told by Jessica she and Lawrence went for a walk along Bude Canal," she said.
"Jessica told me that somehow she went into the canal while on her mobility scooter.
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"Jessica also told me that Daddy couldn't swim and that she could swim, and she told me that Daddy then sank.
"I know that Lawrence can swim, and he was a very strong swimmer.
"Since Lawrence's death Jessica's account of what happened has changed several times because of discussions she's heard between family members trying to piece together what could have happened."
Lawrence had joined the Merchant Navy after leaving school. He then served in the RAF before setting up his own business.
Fisherman David Flay, who jumped into the canal to rescue Lawrence, said he did his best to try to save his life.
"At no point did I hear Jessica tell anybody what had happened," he said.
"I now assume that she went into the water and the male, her dad, had gone in after her to rescue her. I have never been involved in anything like this before.
"I am not first aid trained but I did everything I could to save that man's life and I am truly sorry we were unable to."
A post-mortem examination said Lawrence drowned.
Cops said Jessica's mobility scooter ended up in the water and her dad jumped in after her.
"For reasons unexplained Jessica has somehow driven the mobility scooter into the canal and her father has gone in after her," Detective Constable James McDonald said.
"As a consequence, he has either drowned or had a medical episode resulting in his death."
Andrew Cox, senior coroner for Cornwall, recorded a conclusion of accidental death.
"Mr Casey's daughter ended up in the canal for reasons that are not explained, and Mr Casey has gone in after his daughter in an attempt to rescue her," he said.
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"Sadly, he has either had a medical episode or he has drowned in that effort.
"Fortunately, Jessica was able to be recovered because of the commendable actions of those present at the time."
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