Disabled man drowns after trying to save daughter

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The Independent Online

A disabled man who jumped into the river Thames to rescue his teenage daughter drowned after she climbed to safety.

Michael Payne, 59, was found dead yesterday after going missing on Thursday night following an attempt to rescue his daughter Zoe. Police officers had suspended a search of a stretch of the Thames at Cookham Lock near Maidenhead on Thursday night.

Reports said that Mr Payne had leapt into the river after seeing Zoe, 13, who was swimming with his other daughter, Marie, 14, get into difficulties.

Witnesses said he was overcome by the cold water and fast currents and was swept away while his partner and daughters watched.

Mr Payne was reported to be registered disabled due to the fact that he suffered from severe diabetes.

A police spokeswoman said: "Thames Valley Police officers were called at about 8pm to Cookham Lock after [hearing] reports of a man in difficulties after entering the river.

"It's thought the man, aged in his fifties and local, went into the river to rescue his teenage daughter who was also in the river.

"It is believed the body is that of the missing man."