Couple saw man fall into river

A COUPLE have relived the moment they saw a Halton man fall to his death in the River Lune after trying to rescue his dog.

Philip Smith, 49, from Lythe Fell Avenue, fell into the near freezing water at Halton weir on November 27 last year, after the springer spaniel got into difficulties while swimming after a ball.

Mr Smith, an HGV driver for Tuffnells Parcel Express in Carnforth, was described by his wife Julia as a “competent swimmer” at an inquest into his death at Lancaster Magistrates Court.

But he drifted downriver before his body was recovered by firefighters about half an hour later.

Eyewitnesses Dennis and Susan Maunders, who were out walking, tried to help the father-of-two.

See the Lancaster Guardian (26-05-11) for full story.