Birkenhead dad drowned saving daughter

Former county swimmer Philip Jack, 45, died on June 5 this year, at a beauty spot in Wales.

Mr Jack, an electrician, dived into the river to rescue his daughter after she fell in trying to get the family's dog out the water. But the father of two got into trouble after passing the girl to people on the river bank.

An Everton FC fan, he had taken his two girls, 12-year-old Rachel and Amy, six, on a short holiday at a campsite by the river Dulas at Pantperthog, near Machynlleth, to give their heavily pregnant mother Jane Marmion a weekend's respite.

Peter Maddox, the coroner for Powys, read witness accounts from inquest into the death at Welshpool Magistrates' Court. Michael Kealey had known Mr Jack for many years and they were good friends because they both made regular trips to the holiday park.

His statement read: "Suddenly there was a loud cry from the riverside. About 20 to 40 seconds passed when I stood up and went towards the river.

"When I got there, Phil was in the river and was struggling to hold Amy up with his arms. Someone else managed to take Amy from Phil. She was then passed to me and I passed her to someone else.''

Mr Kealey described Mr Jack being in a vertical position in the water, not in a horizontal "swimming position''. He tried to shout to his friend to ask if he was OK, but there was no reply.

Mr Kealey said he felt he could not go into the water himself because he knew it was deep and dangerous. He saw his friend's head sink beneath the surface before another man retrieved him, but Mr Jack appeared to be unconscious.

Mr Kealey concluded: "Phil had wasted all his energy in holding Amy up, and there was no strength left.''

No-one from Mr Jack's family were at the 10 minute inquest, but his father, David, released a statement shortly after his death, describing him as "a terrific lad - and a mate as well.''