Pupils mourn loss of much-loved teacher who drowned in river

Simon Martindale.
Simon Martindale.

Pupils have paid tribute to “a brave man and an amazing teacher” who died after being swept away by a fast-flowing river.

Students past and present, family and friends have been paying their respects on Facebook to Simon Martindale, a science teacher at Morecambe Community High School.

Melissa Parnell wrote: “He was a huge influence in my life. He taught me since I was 11 and I was still learning from him when I was 20. He was a wonderful teacher and will be missed by so many.”

Jack Thompson-Fowler wrote: “He was a brave man and an amazing teacher.”

Emma Winchester described him as a “kind gentle soul and faithful loving husband and father”.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service said Mr Martindale, aged 48 and from Hest Bank, was understood to have entered the river close to Ambleside Football Club.

A major operation involving police, fire service water rescue units, the coastguard, the RAF, Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team and Windermere lake wardens was launched at around 2.25pm on Monday, December 23.Mr Martindale’s body was pulled from the water at around 3.30pm. His dog managed to make it out.

Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue said initial reports that Mr Martindale had gone into the water to rescue his dog could not corroborated. Officers described it as a “tragic accident” and asked people to keep away from open water as gales and rain lashed the area.