‘Selfless hero’ dad died after jumping into river to save stepdaughter from drowning

Reza Zol Ali tragically passed away after diving in to the river to help his partner’s nine-year-old daughter – despite not being able to swim.

Reza Zol Ali, 31, tragically passed away after diving in to the River Erme in Devon, to help his partner’s nine-year-old daughter (GoFundMe)
Reza Zol Ali, 31, tragically passed away after diving in to the River Erme in Devon, to help his partner’s nine-year-old daughter (GoFundMe)

People are raising money to support the heartbroken girlfriend of a man who drowned while saving his stepdaughter in a river, despite not being able to swim.

Reza Zol Ali, 31, tragically passed away after diving in to the River Erme in Devon, to help his partner’s nine-year-old daughter who was experiencing difficulty.

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The incident took place at about 8pm on Tuesday (15 June) and while police and ambulance crews rushed to the scene to help, Reza died at the scene.

Fundraisers launched for “selfless hero” dad who drowned saving stepdaughter, despite not being able to swim (Photo: GoFundMe)

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‘Selfless’

Now friends and family are raising money to help his partner, Kaylie McGrath, 30, and to fly Reza’s remains to his home country, Iran.

In a statement on one of the fundraising pages set up for Reza, a friend wrote: “I have been asked by Reza’s girlfriend and his best friend to set this page up.

“On Tuesday, 15th June 2021, Reza's step daughter got into some difficulty in the River Erme, located in Long Timber Woods, Ivybridge. Being the hero Reza was, he jumped in and saved her, but unfortunately was unable to save himself as he was a non-swimmer.

“This goes to show how selfless Reza was, and he showed this every day. He leaves behind his girlfriend and 19 month old little girl, as well as lots of friends and colleagues who all saw him as family.

“We are trying to raise funds so Reza can be flown to his home country, to be laid to rest in peace with the presence of the rest of his family.

“We are also wanting to hold a memorial service for Reza here in Ivybridge so all who knew him can show their love and respect for him.

“Any donations will be greatly appreciated. Anything extra will go towards helping his girlfriend and their little girl.”

Heidi Mossard, who set up a fundraiser for Reza’s grieving partner, said: “Kaylie has lost a wonderful man who cherished her, who loved her daughters and the precious daughter they shared together.

“Reza was a kind person who always put his partner and 3 beautiful daughters first and deserves a send off that reflects this and his immensely heroic act.”

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