A “one-in-a-million” dad has tragically died after falling through ice while he bravely tried to save the family dog from drowning in a frozen curling pond.
Tributes have poured in for Iain Morrell, 66, who was battling to rescue his pet Simba when he plunged to his death on February 12.
Emergency services rushed to the scene in Kinniel House, Bo’Ness, Scotland where Mr Morrell and his dog were struggling in the icy water at 12.36pm.
Medics fought to save his life after the beloved dad was airlifted into Edinborough’s Royal Infirmary hospital but he has since tragically died, EdinburghLive reports.
Police Scotland have said the dog was recovered and left in the care of the SSPCA (Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
In a harrowing tribute Mr Morrell’s heartbroken daughter Alana Morrell mourned the loss of her “best friend” before the next milestones in her life.
Alana remembered her “role model and inspiration” and thanked him for risking his life to save Simba in a harrowing tribute.
She said: “To my best friend, Dad, I’ll forever be your wain and my life will never be the same without you in it. I hope you can be with me throughout my next milestones and know how much I want you there but just not in the way that I hoped.
“I hope I make you proud and I wish I could have had one last chance to thank you for everything throughout these past 20 years (which weren’t enough).
“The once in a lifetime holidays you’ve taken me on and for driving me 5+ hours to figure skating competitions, never leaving the side of the rink. 20 years of memories to last a lifetime.
“If I could reverse back to when we used to sing our song in the car on the way to school or to the weekends you took me swimming and we got a blue slush or banana milkshake from McDonalds, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
“There’s not enough pages in a book to write everything. You will never truly understand how much I appreciate everything you have ever done for me and how I wish this was different.
“You made me the person I am today by showing me to never give up and always do my best.
“I am truly heartbroken that I’ll never hear your voice again or have anyone to reassure me through my worries and troubles or rescue me at 4am.
“I still hope that you will come through that door and scream ‘MAAAA WAIN’. I’d do anything in this world for that to happen and I’d never let you go again.
“No one in this whole entire universe had a dad better than mine. He gave me everything and more. He went above and beyond for me and he was the best anyone could have asked for, a great role model, an inspiration which I hope lives within me now.
“It’s going to be a long time until we meet again but I hope you’re having a ball, you deserve the world.”
She added: “One last huge thank you for risking your life saving Simba. I know how much you loved him and I truly hope a part of you lives within him as you loved him with all your heart, just as much as I do.”
Mourners honoured Mr Morrell in various online posts describing him as a “gem and a gentleman” and “always laughing and smiling”.
One friend said: “An absolute diamond of a man. Will be sadly missed by so many.”
Another wrote: “He was one in a million always laughing and smiling and took time to chat and have a laugh and I will always remember him that way.”
A third mourner said: “Iain was a gem and a gentleman.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 12.45pm on Friday, 12 February, 2021, police received report of a man and a dog in the water at the Curling Pond, Kinneil Woods, Bo’ness.
“The man was recovered from the water by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and taken by helimed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he later died. The dog was recovered from the water and left in the care of the SSPCA.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”